Category Archives: Outdoor Florida Magazine Travel

Discovering a Secret City

Japan suffered greatly for being the aggressor in a war they mightily regretted.
And a cousin was in the middle of it all!

American Press Travel News-Bob and Barb “On The Road Again-this time in Oak Ridge, TN–Secret City No Longer a Secret

“Shhh, don’t ask and don’t tell was the official mantra of,  and for anyone living and working in Oak Ridge, Tennessee over 7-decades ago.

Barb and I jumped at the opportunity to check out a terrific area that offers museums, fishing, great restaurants, and even bird watching, not necessarily in that order.”

 

Imagine visiting a city that wasn’t even on the map until the late 40’s. People who lived in that city had no address and phone available to the outside world. Their street addresses were in coded names. It was as if they lived on an island, did everything together on a social basis with what turned out to be an extended family of some 75,000 people. These were specialists, and their families in unique scientific fields in physics, chemistry electrical and chemical engineering, boiler making, construction specialists, metallurgists, and heavy construction development where K-25, a mile long was the largest building under cover of roof, at 44-acres was constructed at that time.

In1941, just after Pearl Harbor was bombed, most all of these folks were brought to a place that they couldn’t write home about, or have their friends and family visit.

They were on a mission, an incredible mission to assist in ending the war in the Pacific and what they wrought, the Atom Bomb did just that, after this hellish bomb was unleashed on Japan, it helped save hundreds of thousands of our service men and women, who would have had to storm the beaches of Japan, and those people that would assist them.

Oak Ridge is the city that allowed teams of physicists and brain stormer’s like Einstein and Teller to name just a very few, to help make this deed a reality. Today, about 8-decades later, there is still tight security for much of the business end of the city that is devoted to developing modern technological advances in nuclear medicine, nuclear power and various other technologies, with some of them absolutely top secret even today.

Some facts about early Oak Ridge are in order here: The Oak Ridge Reservation encompassed 59,000 acres in 1940s, Oak Ridge used one-seventh of the electricity produced in the U.S. during full production, the average age in Oak Ridge at the time was 27, Oak Ridge didn’t appear on a map until 1949, it was not incorporated as a city until 1959. Because of the secrecy demands of the Manhattan project, the Oak Ridge High School football team was only allowed to play away games, and the opposing team was not given the team roster of the players, they were only known by numbers. Every person over the age of 12 had to wear an identification badge at all times during the 40’s.

Visiting the American Museum of Science & Energy we passed by a large image of
Einstein who had penned a letter to President Roosevelt that helped convince him to initiate the development of the “bomb” before Nazi Germany could do it. This letter helped kick off the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge. The entire story is now in plain sight for visitors to this museum and it’s a terrific place to bring the family. Any age range can learn much from the hands-on displays and mind games that challenge with their simple and complex games designed to broaden the mind and enlighten the curious. Oak Ridge continues to earn the U.S. the title of “Super Power.” Live demonstrations, audiovisuals, machines, and devices will definitely keep you and the children entertained and delighted. We also visited John Rice Erwin’s open-air museum called “the most authentic and complete replica of pioneer Appalachian life in the world.” The museum contains over 250,000 pioneer relics including 30 log structures from pioneer times, a chapel, a schoolhouse, cabins and barns replete with actual relics of those times. Outstanding!

.  We went fly-fishing with guide Clayton Gist (865) 806-7803 and yes, got braggin’ rights! Gist explained that the Clinch River is probably the premier trout river in Tennessee. We headed for Big Ed’s Pizza at Broadway in Oak Ridge, terrific on our way home.

 

 

Visit to Morristown, Tennessee

American Press travel News–July 9th, Bob & Barb “On The Road Again”-Once in the city of Morristown, we had visited with Anne G. Ross, Director of Tourism at the Area Chamber of Commerce Office. Anne sent us on a very informative itinerary that covered just a bit of the great things Morristown is all about.

We checked out part of the Lake way Area that included a visit to Cherokee Lake. The fishy lake has over 700-miles of shoreline. The ubiquitous largemouth and smallmouth bass are king here. We visited with shoreline angler’s cat fishing, and looking for brim and crappie. Everyone was having a great time, as the water was clean and clear and the temperatures were warm, but mitigated by a nice shore side breeze. We visited with Sam & Delores Phillips owners of Morristown Marine. Sam discussed the seven bass tournaments he runs each year on Lake Norris, Cherokee, South Holston, Watts Bar and Douglas Lake. He has 910 members of his invitational only events. They draw 220-230 boats for each event. Winners take home big bucks per event, ongoing for over 11-years. https://www.morristownmarine.com

Always interested in history, we headed over to the General Longstreet Museum. The historic home was used by General James Longstreet as his Civil War Confederate headquarters in the winter of 1863-64. The site includes a replica of an 1860’s tailor shop where Director Kelly Ford makes period military uniforms. We met up with “Dewey” a very serious Civil War buff, and he regaled us with a blow-by-blow of various Civil War skirmishes, dressed in a Confederate military outfit, he laid out everything he knew about General Longstreet’s life and times. Dewey is a very serious historian and really knows the full history of “everything” Civil war https://facebook.com/generallongstreetmuseum

We spent some time at the Rose Center of the Arts with Executive Director Beccy Hamm. The arts center is housed in an 1890’s Victorian school house. The center is the cultural arts hub of the Lake way Area. Gallery exhibits, performance spaces, meeting places and a sales gallery. We also met up with representatives from the Morristown Theatre Guild and Theatrical Company where we learned of the many shows slated for the coming months. Go:  https//:www.rosecenter.org

Panther Creek State Park was quite spectacular, Jason Chadwell, Park Manager showed us the incredible sites including an overlook of Lake Cherokee. We also met Craig Price who discussed the newest and most challenging 18-hole Disc golf course. No clubs, just special Frisbee discs thrown into basket-catch hoops.

Hillbilly’s Cabin Restaurant was a fine breakfast spot. We enjoyed Spanish Omelets’ and real coffee! Then we were off to the Meeting Place Country Store & Antiques, and did some shopping for fun oldies but goodies!

Yes, Davey Crockett grew up here and since that time so long ago, so did generations of other families and pioneers in business, industry, medicine, the arts and sports!  For more info go: facebook:Visit Morristown or facebook: retire Hamblen County, TN.

Next week take a peek at The Whitestone Inn on Watts Bar Lake!

 

 

Morristown; Davy Crockett Grew Up Here

Main St. showing 2nd floor walkway!

American Press Travel News–July 4th, Crossville, TN. “Bob & Barb on the Road Again”–As my wife Barb and I continue searching and exploring interesting places to visit we felt that Morristown City, in Hamblen CountyTennessee would be a good one to visit within easy striking distance from our home on the Cumberland Plateau.

After calling Anne G. Ross, Director of Tourism & Program Director, Retire Hamblen County, she made it very easy for us to visit Morristown and see why it would be a fine day-trip for Crossville and surrounding residents. Upon arrival, and after working through Knoxville traffic we arrived in less than 2-hours to Morristown. First we checked in at the Hampton Inn-Morristown (West End) into a delightfully comfortable suite (terrific staff, by the way and quite excellent hot breakfasts too).

A bit about this city that’s quite close to Knoxville: With a population of about 30,000, Morristown’s Main Street area, with an approximate area of a square mile, grew up around a waterway known as Turkey Creek, and the intersection of two railroad lines. In 1962, the creek flooded, nearly wiping out the downtown commercial district. The city developed a plan to modernize Main Street by creating an “overhead sidewalk” that would turn the second floor of the existing buildings into a new “street”, while serving as a canopy for the sidewalks below.

After checking in, we then walked and gawked at various antique and other shops, both at ground level and up the ramps to their elevated second story walkways. Yes, we made some great collectible, but usable finds for our home in Crossville, and during our stay, tasted delightful meals at places such as Jersey Girls with corned beef special sandwiches, The Little Dutch with their delicious salmon entrees’, Hillbilly’s breakfast spot for Spanish Omelets’, and we lunched at Timeless Elegance Tea Room with their famous Chicken & Dumplings, run by a dynamic duo Mr. Kelly and Howard Long (more details on dining experiences in, and all the other great attractions and places we visited in the 2nd edition of our visit, next week).

Restaurants in Morristown were varied and quite excellent!

For its size, Morristown has so many restaurants that for about one year you can dine at a different one every day if you so desire.   After a downtown walking tour with Barbara Garrow, Director of Crossroads Downtown Partnerships’, we really got a good look of what a fine; progressive planned downtown can be in almost any small town America.

Taking a look back in history, we visited a most famous early outdoor pioneer’s home; Davy Crockett. Crockett grew up in and around Morristown; he was born in nearby Greene County.  When visiting pioneer homes you notice how small everything from the height of the doorways to the size of the beds and chairs being so much smaller than today’s cottages and homes. Old time folks were smaller in stature in the “good old days.”

For you sports lovers: In 1985 and 1987, Morristown had teams qualify for the Little League World Series; the 1985 team finished third. The Morristown teams are two of nine Tennessee teams that have advanced to the series in Pennsylvania.

In 2006, Morristown placed fourth in the Little League Softball World Series. In 2007, Morristown won the Little League Softball World Series.

Next issue we’ll present everything we just cannot fit in today including the 700-miles of shoreline of Lake Cherokee and the arts and drama programs! Go: www.tourism@morristownchamber.com for additional information.

A facsimile of Davy Crockett’s flint-lock rifle. I told Barb to take it as a souvenir.
Davy Crockett’s family living room! Also served as a cooking room and workshop too!

If You Want the “Outdoor Edge.”

American Press Travel News-New Products June 27th–Crossville, TN.- So we all want an edge when we head outdoors. Especially when fishing, hunting and hiking in “Mothers” back yard. These two items from the the Outdoor Edge Knives and Tools really caught my eye as potentially useful in and emergency and also for laying out our filets for lunch or dinner.  The Filet Flex Pak holds 3-different double tempered bladed filet knives for any size fish to filet, The two stage carbide/ceramic knife sharpener maintains a razor edge for you. I tried it on a knife that needed sharpening and WOW! The blades came sharp so have not used it on these three beauties yet. The hard-side case is perfect for these knives and sharpener. The blades are 6-inch through 9.5 inches. Love this set and can’t wait to be a cutup again once I pop a walleye at the lake or snook at the coast.

 

The ParaCLAW CQD Watch is a zinc alloy, Seiko quartz movement is water resistant to 100-feet. The glass face is mineral glass. The watch is Titanium PVD coated. It has a Lume in dexed display and a Paracord band. You can call this a tactical carry, close quarters defense watch set. When the band is removed, you have a razor sharp hawkbill 1.5 inch claw that can be deployed almost instantly. Hope I never use it for defense, but as a watch its always there just in case. I’ve already used it to open boxes and slice out a few magazine articles from my published magazine pieces for the scrap book. Check them out for these and other cool items for the outdoors person at: www.outdooredge.com  800-447-3343

NOTE: That paracord watchband can be a lifesaver too! Unraveled it is a very tough cord for any emergency use!