August 5, 2017 Waterfalls and Back Roads
With a wonderfully cool and pleasant weather forecast, Rosemary from the PSC and I decided to head up to a couple of waterfalls near Sparta, TN.
First up was the Burgess Falls Natural area, close to Sparta. There is a 3/4 mile trail that runs alongside the Falling Water River. Along the way it passes a 20’ cascades, the 30’ upper falls, the 80’ middle falls, and finally the 136’ lower falls. The park was damaged by very heavy rains in July, 2015, and a steep flight of stairs leading to the base of the falls was badly damaged and is now closed. There are viewing platforms at all three falls, although most of the middle falls platform is closed, due to the storm damage in 2015. The trail is rated as strenuous, but the only difficult section is about 100 yards of steep steps. If it ever reopens, the trail to the base of the falls is extremely steep and very strenuous.
Along the roads between Burgess Falls and Rock Island State Park, we found a couple of interesting buildings and barns. The first was an old abandoned store with an interesting pink wall. Then about halfway are two barns about 200 yards part. One is an iconic red barn and the other is weathered gray. Both are always on my list of things to shoot if I'm passing by.
Rock Island State Park is the home to Twin Falls. This is actually an unintentionally man made falls. It was created when the Collins Rived was dammed and diverted to the powerhouse. Water eventually eroded through the limestone along the way, and Twin Falls is the result. There is also Great Falls, but there is usually very little water flowing over them due to the dam, and there was no water flow over the falls on our visit.
Leaving Rock Island we stopped to photograph an old truck at the Depot Antique Store, and Rosemary's cafe, which was a Greyhound Bus Station way back, then a cafe, and now a home.
Our last stop was lunch at Billy's (as usual, there is the food/photography trip connection which is so important) in McMinnville featuring a large hamburger. Passing through McMinnville we stopped to shoot an interesting old abandoned building for our last shot of the day.