Monday, September 24, 2012

Venture Off The Trail

Cummins Falls
Normally routines are good to keep us on track, but sometimes you have more fun if you deviate from them. We camped at Defeated Creek last week, and enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing stay. We spent most of our time stargazing, sitting by the fire, fishing from the bank, reading in the shade, talking to other campers, walking and biking around the campground--our regular camping routine.

One morning we started out for Cookeville to eat lunch and to pick up our favorite Ralph's Donuts. At the end of the campground road, we saw a yard sale sign pointing away from our regular route. We looked at each other and said, “Let's go that way!” We knew Highway 85 came out in Gainesboro, but we'd never taken that road. Off we went. We never found the yard sale, but it was a beautiful drive through river farmland, hills and hollers.

As we drove from Gainesboro toward Cookeville, we saw a sign for Cummins Falls, Tennessee's newest state park. We smiled, the blinker went on, and down that road we went to check out the new park. Thankfully we had bug spray in the truck for our half mile hike through the woods trail to the overlook. The falls are 75 feet tall, and at the bottom is a large deep pool. We did not hike the long path to the bottom to swim, but we did trek down a tiny steep path to walk out on rocks at the top of the falls. If you go, make sure you have good shoes. The park is not completely developed yet so there are no buildings and the trails are marked with plastic tape. We walked back to the parking lot on the gravel access road, which is where the porta potties are hidden. We took some great photos and spent two hours having fun outdoors.

We did finally get to Cookeville, bought our scrumptious donuts and had a bite of lunch. We got back to camp later than we planned, but so what? We had a fabulous day exploring new places.

Useful Notion: You can't find adventure sitting on the couch or staying in your regular routine—you have to venture off the trail now and then.

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu