Sunday, April 20, 2014

SCONA SHORELINE–CHILHOWEE LAKE

1st Scona shoreline description
copy/past the link below into your browser:  There are three clips together in one movie.  The clip above is also included in the U Tube movie.  It's the shoreline of Scona Lodge as seen today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XnMS9eYBew&feature=youtube_gdata


I did a total remake on this entry because I was able to trick the software into uploading one of four movies I took yesterday of the shoreline of Scona.  These on line sites continually make changes to a wheel that is already round and working well, and they cause consternation with other software.

The morning was overcast and threatened rain as Shade and I pulled the Gheenoe down the driveway and out onto the country road.  We were heading to Chilhowee Lake to satisfy an uncontrollable urge to visit the old Scona Lodge site.  Oh, there would be nothing new to discover but it would be great to walk the paths that still can be found on the old grounds..
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I wasn't sure how the movie clip was going to turn out so I kept making clips.  It was overkill I know, but I had time to do it, however only one would upload.

Dogwoods and Red Buds
Below:  approaching the Scona Lodge Shoreline travelling upstream from the Route 129 boat launch.

I was impressed how green everything was over here.  Cherokee and Douglas Lakes are brown and drab and it’s a refreshing sight to be surrounded by all this cheery green that surrounds Chilhowee.  One’s surroundings (environment) determines the condition of his soul and I certainly needed some conditioning after three years of Cherokee and Douglas Lakes.

We followed beside Route 129 north that borders the edge of Chilhowee Lake and eventually pass the rock slide site where the whole side of the mountain slid down onto the road and into the lake.  The sensitive part of the cliff side is covered with a steel mesh cover to catch the falling boulders. (above shot).
The mountainsides were covered with dogwood trees.  It was amazing to see because this is the mountain that was ravaged by a horrible series of tornados four years ago that twisted almost all the trees out of the ground and left them laying in a tangled mess where they still are today.
We worked our way slowly up the lake to the old slip on the Scona shoreline.
This is all so familiar it seems I’ve been coming here all my life.
I tied the boat off and commenced to walk inland to the old stone steps that lead up to the patio behind the house that the lodge staff stayed in.
All I had to do was follow shade.  Funny girl.



We came to the little creek that flows across the pathway.  I remembered the photographs of the small foot bridge that spanned this creek.  It had an arch center to it and the old photograph showed some folks dressed in 1950’s clothing standing on the bridge.  The little creek rambles on unnoticed now but the hand cut and laid stone that line it’s shores add character to it’s meanderings and guarantee a country charm to it’s flowing waters.  It’s beauty lies hidden back here among the cane and dogwoods – buried in obscurity just as deep as the old lodge itself.
Shade finds comfort in the tiny creeks cold, cold spring water.

Bamboo grows freely along the little creek and it’s the kind that is invasive.  It is called running bamboo and is impossible to eliminate once it gets a foothold.  I find it beautiful and appealing and it appears to be isolated along the waterways here on the old Scona shoreline.
A pretty little creek,
Whose waters I do seek,
And wish this little rhyme
Would take me back in time ,
And Scona I would find,
If only in my mind.
.The little creek flows down toward the lake, it’s stone covered banks unique and beautiful.
The old stone steps were just ahead.
We crossed the creek and turned left on the other side and walked up to the steps.  I’ve held these stone stairs in awe for years and am saddened to find that thieves and miscreants have stolen the capstones from the tops of the side walls and now I see the stone flower boxes are gone that used to sit at the top of the stairs at the end of the walls.

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People can be so very miserable at times, especially when they act in such insensitive ways demonstrating an uncaring for history or anything that should be held in esteem from the past.  And worse – to steal history and beauty just because they can.
 The patio is still in tact although I suspect the tile flooring will be pilfered before long.

I kicked the leaves and soil away to show the tile underneath.  It’s just as pretty and like new as it was in the good old days.
We walked up the almost invisible path that follows a small creek up the side of the mountain to a tiny reservoir that once supplied water to the old lodge.  Anne, the little girl from Scona says it was a trout pond and I don’t doubt it because this water is spring water and is cold year long.  I’ve been watching it through many summers and it remains cold with a constant flow


This is a pretty little trail.  I’ve never walked it to the top of the mountain but will someday.



Finally I found the familiar stone dam on the creek that is filled to the top with sediment behind the dam causing the water to overflow through a cleft in the top edge of the dam created by a missing stone.

I find these discoveries remarkable as they are links to an American past.  They are memories held to the present by delicate, silken tethers that threaten to break if we do not exercise care. 

 Sights like this provide an opportunity to actually view how things were made in that by gone era – to witness the results of men and women who were truly craftsmen and women of their day.  There is nothing prefab about those almost forgotten times. If something was needed -  it was made by hand for the most part and it worked and kept on working.  I noticed a large water valve laying in the stream bed.

This valve was no doubt used to regulate the flow of water out of the reservoir for many reasons.  Possibly the water was shut off to facilitate the removal of deadfalls in the creek or maybe landslides threatened to clog the waterway.  A large pipe lay separated at a joint where it has rusted through after laying here decade after decade after decade.  The pipe carried the cold, clear water down to the lodge and also to the house where the staff lived.
It’s a shame this historical property couldn't have been salvaged and made into a historical landmark.  I’ll never understand why it had to be destroyed so completely that it’s existence is barely recorded anywhere.
The few historic artifact left laying about are destined to rust and disintegrate into nothingness as if they never existed, and with their disappearance go the human witnesses of Scona’s reign in East Tennessee as they are all passing into time and soon none will be left to tell the story.  What a sad ending to such a treasure.
The little dam is earthen with stone laid against the front of the earthen wall.  It has held all these years.  Scona Lodge was built in 1934 and this little dam on this creek still holds.
You can see that the dam is filled to the top with soil and the creek runs across the top of that soil and through the notch in the top of the dam.  This is a charming place to just sit and observe.  Really it is.  Sounds corny but, the solitude here is deafening. 
The rain started to fall and it’s time to get down the lake as it’s quite a way back to the truck and I bet the wind will have it’s way with the water’s surface before we get back.  I bet shade will love that.
OOPS – someone had a problem here last night. (above)
E Gad! Someone has built a damn fire ring out of rocks on the tile patio.  Idiots!  Damn Idiots!  This is absurd!  Have you damn people no respect for anything?  Is nothing worth protecting in your eyes?  Do you not place value on historical artifact or is your I Pod all you care about.  I quickly threw all the stones off the patio.  It is sacrilege to build a fire on this patio.  The tiles will be ruined.  They’ve stood the test of time and withstood all that nature could throw at them and now some damn sod brained idiot has to build a fire on this patio.  Good God How dumb and insensitive human beings are.  Go back to Knoxville or whatever other damn town you lurked out of and stay there.
I cleaned the rocks off the tiles and tried to make things look natural.  Insensitive idiotic people hurt my heart.  They really do.  Are they that stupid?  Is education that lacking?  I’m trying to calm down.  It’s the Jameson.
I photographed the old steps that lead down to the water and noticed an old plank with a large wooden peg pounded into the lake bottom to hold the plank to the bank.  This plank, I’m guessing, was a support that a wooden platform was nailed to for people to stand on after getting out of their boats – sort of a dock.  The steps lead down to this plank.  There is a railroad spike sticking into the top of a large wooden peg that probably was the king pin of the affair.  Who knows. Look very closely at the following three pictures to see what I speak of.


The steps follow below:

We hopped into the boat and headed down river.  This has been a very nice morning and a great get away from the mud holes called lakes over where I live.  The wind was up and the rain was falling constantly.  Shade didn’t like it and I wasn’t too fond of it either.   Hope you liked this entry.  Sorry I lost my temper back there.