Hey Team,

I’m headed south now but I ended up staying in Knoxville for an extra day when it looked like some members of a Bluegrass band I was mysteriously hanging around with might know some moonshiners.

Sadly, things didn’t quite work out but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun times hanging out with a bluegrass playing guitarist from New Jersey, a banjo player fresh off the Appalachian Trail, a fiddle player/former Zen monastery resident, and an upright bassist with a propensity for turning Metallic into bluegrass.

And of course, my too (and two) cool couch surfing hosts, Rachel and Abbey, who not only showed me around the city but took me out to an old abandoned rock quarry complete with an old abandoned factory.

Amtrekker

The Ijams Quarry was up there with the coolest sights I’ve seen on this trip. (But then again I’m a sucker for climbing around on things I probably shouldn’t.) Each portion of the Quarry was like a completely different world and it was all so shut off from the city despite its proximity.

A large portion of it had filled up with water and created a pretty clear (and sizable) pond, complete with fresh water jellyfish, that I was assured makes a great swimming hole. That was pretty near the parking lot though and so it was a little less exciting than the stuff further into the wild.

It was especially strange because it seemed like each area was its own separate cloister, completely locked off from the rest of this enormous quarry. The next area we went into spilled out at the top of a shear cliff where giant chunks of rock had been harvested way back when. The thing that made this place cool was its solitude. It was like being midway up a huge amphitheater filled with nature just waiting for a something awesome to begin.

Then we moved on to a valley of white sand. Crushed limestone covered the valley floor and the areas surrounding the trees creating a surreal feeling of a beach being relocated to the mountains for a change of climate.

Limestone sands

But none of this rivaled the glory of an abandoned factory! I love wandering around decaying building made to do things I know nothing about. Climbing around things I would probably never see working; guessing at what they might have previously been used for.

Here are several thousand words.

The Outside

Furnaces

What's left

Top

It was a good day.

I’m done.

Brett.

If you’re looking for a way to help out I know where there’s a button you could click.


Thanks!