Odd places in our region

By Mike Steely Scattered here and there in central Appalachia are places that almost defy description. Odd, unusual places that seem totally out of place and just too weird to be where they are. Yet these unique places do, indeed, exist and are worth a trip just to see something so odd.   A man […]

Life during the pandemic

Life during the pandemic

By Mike Steely My family and I have been fairly isolated for the past several weeks. The longer we stay cocooned, except for outings for prescription refills and food—which is seldom, the more interesting life becomes. We have worked on yard and home projects as we’ve got lots to do inside and out. I’ve suffered […]

Friendsville and the original ‘Cudjo Cave’

By Mike Steely Whether you’re still cocooning at home or venturing out there are some very interesting places nearby that you can take the family to walk around without being in a crowd. Every town and community in East Tennessee is unique, fun and educational. Friendsville in Blount County isn’t your typical little town. Its […]

Taking the Dayton Loop

Taking the Dayton Loop

By Mike Steely We have been asked to keep our distance, wear our masks, and basically stay at home for safety these days. But there are some places we can drive to without encountering other people or endangering ourselves or others. A family day outing to nearby places is a great idea, just be sure […]

Cookeville’s Odd Roadside Sites

Cookeville’s Odd Roadside Sites

  By Mike Steely Cookeville is a popular stop for travelers headed west on I-40 with its many restaurants and hotels on the interstate as well as a lively downtown. If you are a fan of odd attractions, then Cookeville has more than a few for you to visit. Seeing pink elephants is a common […]

Traveling Emory Road Two Centuries Ago

  By Mike Steely You may travel Emory Road occasionally or every day. It stretches from Rutledge Pike across north Knox County all the way to Pellissippi Parkway. The route is now a modern county route but the story of the historic route began more than 250 years ago. Chief Tollunteeskee, a brother to Cherokee […]

East Tennessee well represented at new state museum

By Mike Steely From giant sloth fossils to John Sevier and Davy Crockett, the area of East Tennessee is very well represented in the new Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. Located at the end of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall near the state house the state museum is very well organized and the self-guided walk through […]

Where the Hilltops Touch the Sky

By Mike Steely You may have heard of the Standing Stone near Monterey, Tennessee, where a tall sandstone statue of a wolf or dog once stood. Legend says the stone, along what became old Avery Trace, was a Native American marker. Today the stone is only a small piece of rock atop a pedestal because […]

Fort Loudoun Tour drawing near

By Mike Steely Did you know that Fort Loudoun in Vonore was the first British outpost on the west side of the mountains? The fort, built in 1759, was in the middle of the Overhill Cherokee Towns and was abandoned by the British whose march back to the colonies ended in tragedy. There’s lots of […]

Seventy-Three Years of Life and Times

By Mike Steely I’ve just had my 73rd birthday and I’ve been thinking back on my life and thanking my wife Lettie for putting up with me since 1966, my sons and grandchildren for adding happiness and responsibility to my life, and all the friends I’ve had over those long years. I’ve lived through the […]