By Patty Wilber

Tennessee was a good adventure!

We have been to Knoxville twice and based on this sample size of two, the weather is always bitter cold there.  Last year we went during the great Christmas Freeze when the highs were in the single digits and it snowed.  This year by the third day we were there, they got more snow than they’ve had in years, and the temperature fell to zero. The Knoxville airport shut down the when we were trying to leave, extending our stay from the 15th to the 17th.  It was so cold the morning we did leave, they couldn’t move the plane from the docking area to the runway because of the thick ice.  After an hour and a half, they finally used the de-icing fluid they normally use on the planes, to de-ice the asphalt!  We still made our connecting flight and got home!

For our stay in Tennessee, we rented a cabin–with horse stalls–within walking distance of hiking trails in the Big South Fork National River and Recreational area. We didn’t need the stalls as we flew and didn’t bring horses, but it turned out that all the places we liked had them because this 125,000 acre park has very good riding!

Erika and Juniper (even though you can’t see her) on the horse/hiking trail.

It was chilly hiking, but it was fun to see habitat so different from New Mexico!

Jim by a river with a lot more water than the Rio Grande at this time of year!

One would not, technically, have been able to ride all the way to the river because…

The trail to the river actually was horse-friendly beyond this sign, but on several other non-horse trails we took, there were stairs and other horse-averse features, so probably somewhere ahead, there was an insurmountable obstacle or two.

The next day we hiked to the Twin Arches, which are the largest arches in the Eastern United States and have their own park! Definitely not a horse trail because there were stairs, and stairs that were practically ladders. That was a short but really fun hike!

One of the twin arches and some of the not-steep stairs.

We also hiked to Needle Arch and Slave Falls.

We saw a tiny ice arch along the way!

The last night at the cabin, snow was predicted. Luckily, it was a lovely and cozy cabin!

Erika and Juniper, in the cabin.

It snowed, all right.

Getting ready to drive back to Knoxville. It snowed all day and the roads were snowpacked and icy. I rode with Erika, who grew up in Alaska.  She knows a thing or two about driving on snow. If I had been at the wheel we might still be on the road.

We had the best time hanging out with Juniper (and her parents!), but I am also happy to be home to warmer weather and the horses.

I got to work with these two almost twin half-arabs, as well as Gino and Gette.

Happy Friday!




About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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