Mother’s Day in the great outdoors.

I inherited my lack of commercial interest in Mother’s Day from my mom. Growing up, every second Sunday in May we “surprised” Mom with baseball tickets and a trip to the nursery. The rest of the day was given over to gardening, a skill I most definitely did not inherit. When our fledglings were little, we instead loaded the bicycles, headed into D.C. and pedaled to the National Zoo. Tony grilled dinner at home, and the day ended with a bottle of wine on the terrace after we’d put the children to bed.  Now, we hike. (Thank you, Austria!)

Driving out. Looks like we could be heading into Steiermark.

At the height of the Great Depression in 1933, the U.S. government established the Subsistence Homesteads Project to aide poverty-stricken families by relocating them to small farms, establishing one such project in Tennessee’s part of the Cumberland Plateau region, which had been particularly hard hit by the Depression with the closure of dozens of coal mines. Nearby, a recreational area was created to serve the new homesteaders that would eventually become a state park in 1940.

The trail was unlike others we have wandered in the state. Though it was a loop around a rather wide creek, the topography was different on each side, with fairytale-like paths over soft pine needles giving way to hemlock-shaded terrain, and sandy steps and rock-climbing thrown in for fun.

An Eagle Scout project so that hikers can safely cross the creek.

The children and CTF were ahead of us, waiting on the sunny boulders for us. Cletus felt the need to bay, possibly because he liked the sound of his own voice echoing in the small canyon. Silly Foxhound.

Not an Eagle Scout project. The bridge is instead a project of the Civilian Conservation Corp., a voluntary public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men. The park also has just launched an aviary to rehabilitate injured raptors, too. You know I donated.

Adding to the day’s enjoyment, we ordered for take-away the “Southern-style Mother’s Day Curbside Special” meal for dinner: Roast Turkey and Dressing; Mashed Potatoes; Creamed Corn; and melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. And of course, Banana Pudding. I neglected to take a snap, but you get the idea.