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Old 06-07-2013, 07:27 PM   #15
Near Normal
Joined: May 2013
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 140
Day Two

Day Two

Jonathan's Barn
I was back on the trail around 8:30. I was treated to clear weather, temperatures in the mid-80s. The plan was to meet my wife for lunch in Sparta, about 80 miles into the ride. In this area of Tennessee you are riding across the Cumberland Plateau. Again, beautiful scenery, but with the exception of a few dirt roads here and there, this part of the TAT is all pavement. Without GPS, navigation would be a bit tricky at times in this area with all of the zigzagging on the back road lanes. The highlights of this segment of the ride for me were Rock Island State Park and meeting an interesting fellow named Jonathan on the trail outside of Sparta. Rock Island State Park, named for an island with the same name on the Caney Fork River, runs through Great Falls Gorge in White and Warren Counties. Great Falls Dam is located here, along with the old Great Falls Cotton Mill, which was in operation from 1892-1902. Going up a ”hollow” on the TAT outside of Sparta on one of the few dirt roads on the ride, I spied an interesting barn that someone had built using lumber from other old barns, including some that had the old “See Rock City, Outside of Chattanooga” advertisements painted on the side. This barn also had an intriguing plaque hanging in the front that said “Aunt Sally.” I had to stop and get a picture. While I was doing so, a fellow sporting a long graying beard came running down the hill, spied me and shouted “HELLO,” in a not-so-friendly tone. I explained that I thought the barn was cool and all I wanted was a photo. The fellow, who introduced himself as Jonathan, said he was a little on edge because some local kids had tried to burn the barn down recently. He said that he taught outdoor classes at a nearby college and used the barn as a retreat or getaway when the need arose. This explained the “Aunt Sally” tag from Tom Sawyer, where he rejects civilization at the end of the story. “Aunt Sally, she’s going to adopt me, civilize me, and I can’t stand it. I have been there before.” Jonathan said that he has had to fight the county to keep the road in front of his place unpaved and welcomes the TAT crowd through his corner of Tennessee. Cool.
222 miles to Bell Buckle, Tennessee. 4.7 gallons of gas and only 10 ounces of oil pushed through the injector pump. Yikes! Time to start mixing oil with the fuel again!

Jonathan in front of his Barn
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