Category Archives: Sandy Mush Hikes

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The Pinnacle Hike

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A perfect day in Sandy Mush.

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Garrett Cove Hike with Vance Garrett

Beyond the beauty, vigor and friendship, I learn something new each time we join together on our Sandy Mush hikes.  This time I learned that our family’s land on Garrett Cove is actually called and spelled the Isom pasture after Isom Evans.  I always thought it was Isen  (a slurred icing in my childhood mind); it shows how easy it would be for geographic or other names to get changed over the years.  I also learned that the cabin that our friends, Dave and Kim, restored on their Sandy Mush Farm (aka Everett Farm aka McCracken Place), our September hike, was originally on this land and was moved in the 1940’s before finally relocating on Dave and Kim’s.

But most importantly, I learned that Vance is a heck of tree climber and apple picker!  Sorry you missed the hike and the apples, but enjoy the photos.

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Hike on Everett Farm in Big Sandy Mush

We enjoyed a beautiful Sunday hike in September on the Everett farm, which was known as The McCracken Place when I was growing up.  It was fun to hear the history and stories that Dave shared of this place and the families who had called it home.  This historic farm has been lovingly restored by Dave and Kim with a lot of hard work and passion.  That is something that all farmers must certainly have, a passion for farming and a strong work ethic.  It is wonderful to live in a community where so many have that love and commitment.

We are fortunate that Dave and Kim bought this farm from Henry and Lula, and have dedicated their energy to tending to it and have also made the larger commitment to our community by preserving this farm with a conservation easement.  I know so many value and gain pleasure from seeing this farm each day as they enter and leave our valley, and I know Henry would be pleased to see how well his family’s farm is being tended.  Thank you Dave and Kim!

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July 5th Hike on Reemes Homeplace Farm

I have been a life long admirer of the Reemes brother’s work ethic and craftsmanship.  They built solid, beautiful fences, they carved the chestnut mantel piece that hung above the fireplace in my childhood home, and they still grow and tend one of the best gardens in Sandy Mush.

I appreciate their care for their homeplace.  You can tell it is well-loved and well-managed.  It was a privilege today to enjoy the lovely hike and picnic on their place.  We look forward to returning soon to hike on more of the property, with James joining us to lead the way and share his stories.

As always, a pleasure to enjoy the good company of our fellow Sandy Mush hikers and learn more about this beautiful and special place we live.  I am thankful!  Enjoy a glimpse of our hike, but photos never do it justice.

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Hike to Hundred Acre Field and Mike’s Knob

We had a stunning and memorable hike, and many thanks to Betty and Robin Reeves for their conservation efforts in preserving this beautiful farm.  This is a community and agricultural heritage asset.  You will notice the cows grazing in the summer mountaintop pasture; this is Robin’s beef herd, some of which originated from my father’s beef cattle stock many years ago.

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Sandy Mush Hike on Sugar Creek

Our May 3rd hike was gorgeous with the spring flowers blooming and the cool green hues of the forest beckoning us to continue until our ascent on the stunning rock outcrop overlooking much of Big Sandy Mush, where we enjoyed our picnic, the view and the discovery of our native columbine.  A huge thanks to Kevin and Linda for hosting this hike and to Kevin for leading our hike and for his trail.  It is always fun to go exploring in the woods. Enjoy a glimpse of our hike.

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March Sandy Mush Hike with Dort and Charley

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We enjoyed a leisurely four hour hike with several ascents to an almost 360 degree view of Little and Big Sandy Mush, and then back to Dort and Charley’s for a picnic lunch in the warmth of sunshine and friends.

Stunning Hike in Garrett Cove

We have started our Sandy Mush Hiking Club, a group of us who can’t imagine a better way to enjoy a day than hiking in Sandy Mush and enjoying the wonderful company, conversation and beautiful mountains.  We were fortunate to have our local historian, Vance Garrett, lead our hike through the Garrett Cove into the high mountain pasture overlooking Crabtree in Haywood County, circling around Sharp Top through the Flatwoods and then back down into Garrett Cove.   We enjoyed the 4 and 1/2 hour hike with over 1000 elevation gain with a surprise visit to a cave,  a botany lesson in the garlic mustard invasive and a conservation talk with Sarah of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.  SAHC holds conservations easements on three of the properties in Garrett Cove.  I am thankful for the people with the foresight to conserve this land for now and for many future generations, and I am thankful for the history that Vance so graciously shared with us.

Enjoy the photos!

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