Saturday, January 26, 2013

Frozen Head and Frozen Toes

There's nothing like a crisp winter hike in sub-zero temperatures!

Here's the view last MLK Day the from Frozen Head mountain fire tower. Frozen Head mountain offers unimpeded views stretching from the Cumberland Mountains to the north to the Tennessee Valley and Smokies to the south.

Starting at 1,362 feet the South Old Mac trail rises steadily for nearly two miles to the summit at 3,324 feet.  Cold indeed it was, especially at the start, but the trees were bare and the cold seemed to lengthen the penetration of the views. We soon warmed up. 

In the early 1800's, settlers from the mountainous regions of Scotland and Wales moved into the Frozen Head area and built homesteads in the high mountains. I  am presently trying to learn  Old Time Music in Knoxville,  and would have loved to have witnessed their Ceilidhs.  Later, local coal  was deep mined using, presumably less joyful convict labor.

The fire tower was built in the 1930s to spot fires and trespassers.  They didn't seem to be up there, though,  in the  fall of 1952 as the  entire state forest was burned by the worst forest fire season in state history.  

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