Earthcaches

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Several Earthcaches on Tennessee's northern Cumberland Plateau

We spent nine days on the Cumberland Plateau recently. I've passed through the area along Interstate 40 several times but have never lingered in the area. Because my mom is from the Tennessee Valley, specifically Loudon and Monroe Counties, I'm most familiar with the valley, not the plateau. We were part of a team of missionary guest speakers visiting the Riverside Baptist Association centered around Livingston and Jamestown, Tennessee. We traveled over from North Carolina but took advantage of the trip to visit an aunt and uncle in Athens, Tennessee before going up to the plateau. We departed Athens, crossed the Tennessee River at Watts Barr and climbed up from Spring City onto the Cumberland Plateau. When we reached the plateau we were impressed with how flat it was. It didn't stay that way long. Around Crossville we were on flat land and could see a long distance. I was interested in the many buildings made with crab orchard stone there. Just prior to climbing up to Crossville we came through Grassy Cove, Tennessee. At first glance it appeared to be a lovely little valley nestled among hills with a small creek running through it. In fact Grassy Cove Sink (GC14TWB) is anything but a normal valley. It is the largest sinkhole on our continent! As we traveled into the cove we crossed over a stream bed that runs north. The source of the water is rain, not springs. It runs north into a cave, goes underground where it doubles back and comes out again on the other side of the mountain to the south at the Devil's Sink Hole. If it weren't for the cave this area would be a large lake. We stopped for pictures and to fulfill the requirements for logging this cache. What a site!
Beautiful view looking south in the cove

sumajman at Grassy Cove
We continued our scenic trip until we were within a half hour of the Kentucky border. We settled in with our host in Livingston, Tennessee and began our conference. Most days we had some free time so we hit the trails to find caches.  We made friends with another missionary couple speaking at the conference. They seemed interested in our little sport so off we went one afternoon to try a few varied types of caches. This included going just a few miles northeast of Livingston to find 111 Rock House (GC14JTC). We pulled off the highway at the indicated spot and then pulled up a dirt road. My GPSr indicated that we'd need to cut into the woods a little to find the earthcache. We tracked to within a few feet of ground zero when we realized that we were on top of the Rock House. I'm sure glad that the roof was strong. We descended to the dirt road again, then we walked up the highway to the opening of the Rock House. I agreed with the cache owner and did not venture into the cave. What an amazing structure! We completed the required measurements in order to log the cache and got the customary photos in front of it. I suppose we missed this fascinating site because we were too attuned to our technology while in the car. There it was for all to see from the main highway! The day was still young so we headed on down the road to the north to find a few additional caches for the day.
sumajman and sumajhuarmi at the Rock House
We wanted our friends and newly registered geocachers to experience a broad selection of geocache finds. Well, maybe there was one we intentionally avoided. They can find LPCs on their own!


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