Thursday, July 24, 2008

Davy, Davy Crockett.....

I traveled down to Davy Crockett State Park today. Located just west of Lawrenceburg on US-412, the park is a relatively small park filled with cabins, a restaurant and pool, trails, and the historic clock that once sat atop the Lawrence County courthouse that was torn down in the 1960s in order to make way for this 1960s-era monstrosity:

But before we get to Davy Crockett state park, we decide to take the backroads through Amish country. After turning off US-43, we drove through Summertown and took a left on Buffalo Rd. This beautiful stretch of county road took us through miles of Amish homesteads. The homesteads were simple white weatherboard houses surrounded by at least seven or eight outbuildings. We saw kids working out in the fields, men on buggies hauling produce, and women hanging laundry to air dry on a clothesline.

We attempted to take a photo of one of the men riding in his buggy, but apparently the Amish do not want their picture taken. As soon as my passenger raised the camera, the man driving the buggy waved his hand in a gesture for us to stop and bowed his head so that the brim of his hat covered his face. I felt really bad- I had no idea, but should have guessed that they wouldn't want their image taken. I did take one picture of an Amish homestead from a distance because no people were out and it was just too interesting to pass by without taking a photo.

Now, back to Davy Crockett state park. After our meeting, my coworker Del, takes us down a maintenance road where we find the original top to the old Lawrence County courthouse. It's just sitting there rotting in the middle of a field in front of a park maintenance building. It's a neat old clock and shameful that its in such bad condition, but it made for great photos.

I'm not sure where I'll be traveling next, but I can only hope that the weather is as crisp and clear as it was today. Today was one of those days where the sun's shining, I'm not stuck behind a desk, and I realize how much I love my job.

Mindfield Cemetery

Bear with me here as I'm going back in time to the beginning of May when I stumbled upon Mindfield Cemetery in Brownsville, TN. Located along SR-54 directly west of the historic downtown square, this metal monument appeared out of the blue as my coworkers and I headed through Brownsville on the way to Covington in West Tennessee.

At first glance we thought it was some strange kind of electric substation, but as we neared it, it quickly became apparent that we had stumbled on to a welded oddity that cannot be explained with words.

Apparently, artist Billy Tripp began this memorial in 1989 and continues to add on to it until he dies. Upon his death, it will become the site of his internment. It also serves as a memorial to his mom and dad.

To see more photos of this roadside treasure, visit my flickr page at

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What is it that you do again? An introduction.

As a transportation planner, I'm often asked, "So what is it that you do again?" I realize the title of transportation planner is rather vague and can mean several things- Do I plan travel arrangements for buses of senior citizens? Do I plan where roads will go? Make maps? Sit on my ass and surf the internet all day?

I actually can't give you a concrete answer of what I do, not because its classified, but because its so varied and so complicated that not even I know what I do on occasion. I do know, however, that I work specifically as a rural planner and as a result I travel throughout Tennessee meeting with local officials and discussing transportation issues. (Clear as mud, right?)

Anyways, my point of all this is to introduce the fact that I often travel the backroads of Tennessee (for both business and pleasure) and have experienced my share of local situations/oddities that would be a shame not to relate to others. From the gigantic welded scrap metal monument in Brownsville to the BYOB strip joint, Fuzzy Holes, in Johnson City, I'm here to share it all. I hope you enjoy.