A note from the photographer

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Friday, August 12, 2016

The Beauty Spot, Erwin, TN {J. Commons Photography}

Wednesday I woke with an overwhelming need to get out of the house, stretch my legs, and work my camera.  For years I have heard of the Beauty Spot in Erwin, where the AT crosses, but have never been.  A quick search told of a two-mile gravel road to get to the top of the mountain.  Given past misadventures with my car I was a little nervous about its ability to get up the road without incident.  A few friends that had been to the Spot assured me that I could traverse the road without 4wd.  Still a bit apprehensive, I headed out to find the hidden treasure.  Before I even made it to the gravel road I had to deal with directions that were inaccurate.  Someone didn't know their right from their left. (For the record, not me, but the website!)  I was surprised to find no signs marking the gravel road or even pointing in the direction of the Beauty Spot.  As I started up the gravel road I relaxed a little because it wasn't too steep and it was wide enough that if I felt the need to turn around I could.  Almost at the top a truck was stopped taking pictures towards the woods.  I was delighted to find a doe and her fawn, still in spots.

The road forked and I stayed right.  However, there was a sign for another overlook three miles to the left along the gravel road.  My car did so well I decided not to push it this time, but will explore next time!  There was a decent size drive around at the end of the road and I was able to pull over and park.  Before getting out of my car I could see the view.  It was breathtaking!

There was a short hike up a grassy hill that led to the actual AT, with about 270 degrees of views.  It was much cooler on top of the hill than it had been at my house (which was some where in the 85 degree vicinity when I left.) And there was an amazing wind blowing.  There were a few short paths jetting off the main AT path that led to little outcrops with the remains of camp fires.  This spot is a popular camp site for AT hikers and just day adventurers that head up for the sunrise or sunset.  This was my favorite spot.  It looks away from the town of Erwin and the wind coming through this spot was so strong I had to brace myself to not fall over!

I explored the top of the grassy hill with my bear spray in tow (cuz you never know!) and enjoyed the peace of having the area all to my self.

I think it is fair to say that The Beauty Spot is aptly named!  As more people began to arrive (two women with their dogs and one sketchy guy) I decided to take my leave, but not before this butterfly outside of my car caught my attention.  The bee was a bonus.

Weather permitting I will be headed back up next week and hope to check out the rest of the gravel road and the other overlook.

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