Some Memories from Eastern Tennessee (2009)


Erynn and I spent 9 months living in Jonesborough for my job at the John Deere factory in Greeneville, Tennessee. Erynn got a job at Mountain States Health Alliance in their quality group. We loved our time in East Tennessee and got to see a new part of the country. The people are incredibly friendly and there are tons of outdoor activities. As you'll see our house was very near the Appalchian Mountains and the ridgeline making up the Appalachian Trail. We loved our house and did a lot of DYI in our short time in the house. We also picked up a new activity, fly fishing, while in the area. We crammed a lot into 9 months...


We moved from Jonesborough on August 13, 2009, and I thought I'd share some our favorite memories of our time in East Tennessee. I hope you enjoy them. If you're interested, complete hi-res photo albums from our time in Tennessee can be found HERE

After some initial trepidation about moving to a fairly remote part of the country, we soon came to appreciate all the are had to offer. We lived about half an hour north of Greeneville in Jonesborough, which is right on the edge of the Tri-City Area. We bought an incredible custom built house and proceeded to "make it our own," and I don't think the dogs have forgiven us for moving. Here are a couple photos of 52 Olivia Lee Court (N36 16.320 W82 30.796).

You can see tons more photos of our Jonesborough house HERE.

Doug was the Operations Manager at the John Deere factory in Greeneville, TN (aka John Deere Power Products). The factory makes the 100 Series Lawn Tractors. Erynn got a job with Mountain States Health Alliance as a Surgical Clinical Nurse Reviewer. The job looked at outcome data from surgeries and was part of a NSQIP grant the hospital received.

Visitors & Friends

Since we were in town for such a short amount of time it didn't leave much time for visitors...

May 10, 2009: Doug's parents drove down to visit for a week. We didn't have much planned and mostly just hung out. Erynn and I both had to work so during the day my folks saw the local sites and helped with some yard work. You can check out more photos from their visit HERE.

Erynn and I basically befriended the accounting group from the Greeneville factory. We had lots of good times with the O'Donnells and Samecs and their kids.

July 2, 2009: Our friends from England, Jackie and Jas, were in Tennessee visiting family so we all decided to hang out at Dollywood in Pidgeon Forge, TN. They brought their daughter, Anika, and some cousins to enjoy the nice weather and fun rides. Jas and Doug made a b-line for the roller coasters (not great for the stomach BTW) and Erynn, Jackie and the kids rode the munchkin rides. All-in-all it was a fantastic day. The next day we headed to Jackie's extended family's lake house for some fun on the water. However, we didn't take any photos.

You can check out more photos from the day HERE.

This is also the day Doug found out he was getting a new job and would have to move back to North Carolina...

DIY Projects

This house holds a special place in our hearts and we got really into Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects making little upgrades here and there...

February 9, 2009: A nice gentleman from the Knoxville Ritchie Tractor delivered our new LA135 Special Edition Riding Lawn Tractor today. If you didn't know by now, Doug got a job at the factory that makes the 100 Series in Greeneville, TN. Erynn was home to take delivery and the dealer showed her all of the controls and gave her a nice pink hat. We have a little over half an acre, and this is the first time we've been able to justify a riding mower. So of course we needed to buy the best!

March 17, 2009: The previous owners didn't take very good care of the lawn. Therefore, this gave me another excuse to buy more stuff. Here you can see Erynn pulling our new John Deere 40" Plug Aerator. The lawn may still be a lost cause though.

February 21, 2009: Erynn and I installed some lattice under our deck. The project was partly to make the deck look better, but mostly to keep the dogs from disappearing for hours upon end and then coming back covered in clay.

You can check out more photos from the project HERE.

March 7, 2009: I replaced the old stainless steel kitchen sink with some higher end equipment. Erynn chose the FrankUSA faux granite sink with an Insinkerator Evolution Excel garbage disposal and a Delta Talbott style fawcett. The new stuff fits a bit more with the house's decor and is a bit higher end. It only took about five trips to Lowe's to get all of the right plumbing pieces.

You can check out more photos from the project HERE.

March 15, 2009: We came home one afternoon to find our dogs missing. We had installed some wire fencing along the bottom edge of our back fence but they had dug underneath and escaped. This particular fence had been installed before we moved in, and it had a small gap between the bottom edge and the ground. Since the previous wire fence was ineffective, we decided to break out the big guns. We bought a bunch of 1x6 boards and nailed them horizontally along the bottom of the fence with our Hitachi framing nailer. Then we used the previous wire fence along the bottom edge of the 1x6 attached with our Hitachi pneumatic stapler. We bent the wire fence in a 90 degree angle so it stuck down into the ground another six inches and then out into the yard about six inches. This means the dogs will now have to start digging about a foot from the fence and dig down about a foot to escape. This required us to excavate a trench about a foot deep and a foot wide for nearly 125 feet. We figure that if they can get out this time then they deserve to be free.

You can check out more photos from the project HERE.

March 22, 2009: Erynn and I broke out the Hitachi power tools again to finish her 3-compartment compost bin. She's was very excited to begin decomposing, but only got a few months to try...

You can check out more photos from the project HERE.

Fly Fishing

The area around northeast Tennessee is fly fishing central. Within an hour from our house were multiple world-class fly fishing spots: South Holston River, Watauga River, Hampton Creek, Doe Creek, Beaverdam Creek, etc. Below are details from some of our trips.

June 7, 2009: Erynn and I went fishing with our friend Carl at the South Holston Dam in Bristol, Tennessee. It was a gorgeous day and both Erynn and Carl caught some trout. Above is Erynn with her stocked brown trout she caught near the end of the day with a Dry Sulphur fly.

You can check out more photos from the trip HERE.

June 20, 2009: Erynn and I went fishing with our friend Carl again, but this time we went to Beaverdam Creek in the Cherokee National Forest. The fishing creek runs between Shady Valley, TN and Damascus, VA. Our first stop was at Backbone Rock and then after a few hours we went back Route 133 toward Shady Valley and fished near another bridge. Both spots provided very easy access to the creek, but didn't yield many fish. In fact, the only thing we caught were a couple creek chubs. After a morning of fishing, Carl took us to Damascus to discuss the Creeper Trail and then onto Abingdon, VA before heading home.

You can check out more photos from the trip HERE.

June 27-29, 2009: Doug's parents came down to visit, and we took his dad fly fishing three days in a row. We hit four places over the weekend: the South Holston River tail waters, Hampton Creek for brook trout, Doe River and did a float trip on Watauga River. On two of the days we had Randy Ratliff of Troutfishers Guide Service with us as a guide. He's a very good guide and we used him on our trip to Blowing Rock, NC.

Above is Doug's dad landing a nice rainbow trout on the South Holston. Below is the brook trout he caught in Hampton Creek. It was a great weekend of fishing with him catching the Trout Trifecta: brook, brown and rainbow trout.

One of the best weekends ever... You can check out more photos from the fishing HERE.

Excursions & Trips

February 15, 2009: Erynn and I took the dogs for a short hike to Red Fork Falls. The falls are located in Unicoi County about 20 minutes from our house. Erynn had attempted the climb down to the bottom a couple days before, but with two dogs it proved too difficult. With one dog each, we made it all the way and had a great time. It's a bit strenuous, but Buckley proved to be part mountain goat. Cupcake sat down a couple times on the way back up the mountain to let us know she wasn't too happy. Some more photos of the falls can be found here.

You can check out more photos from the trip HERE.

April 5, 2009: For Erynn's birthday we took the dogs and hiked to Rock Creek Falls in the Cherokee National Forest. The parking area for the falls is just outside of the town of Erwin, TN about 20 minutes from our house. The hike was about 2 miles into the mountains to see the falls and was fairly stenous, but the weather was perfect and the dogs had a good time. Well worth it!

You can check out more photos from the hike HERE.

April 11-12, 2009: We decided to spend the weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee for Easter. We had heard the town and area were beautiful so we decided to take a look. Aside from checking out some cool restaurants and walking around town, Doug wanted to visit the local national parks and rowing club. We visited the Russell Cave National Monument about half an hour outside of town in Alabama. Later that evening and the next day we visited the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. The photo above is from Point Park, which is part of the Chattanooga section of the military park on Lookout Mountain. We didn't do any of the touristy stuff on the mountain because we had heard Point Park was the way to go, and we think they were right. It was beautiful.

You can check out more photos from the trip HERE.

June 14, 2009: Erynn and I took the dogs and drove to the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park about 1.5 hours from our house. It was a beautiful sun-shiny day so we decided to get out of the house. The Cumberland Gap was an important east-west corridor from the late 1700's to early 1800's. We stopped off at the visitor center first then headed to the Pinnacle Overlook for a view of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. The three states intersect just on the other side of the Gap from the Pinnacle Overlook -- we decided not to hike to the three-state monument since it was so hot and humid. Really, we were just looking out for the dogs. Sure.

As we walked to the overlook, the dogs did their usual stop at every tree routine. If you've ever met Cupcake you know she was born with a defect in her hind legs. As a result she doesn't jump much or stand on her hind legs. As we approached the stone wall and metal railing for the overlook, Cupcake decided she wanted to have a look of her own. She tried to jump up onto it! Erynn shrieked and gave a yank on her leash pulled her back. I then proceeded to put Buckley on the edge and Erynn snapped the best photo of the trip (above) with the Cumberland Gap in the background.

You can check out more photos from the trip HERE.

July 25, 2009: Erynn & I drove to Damascus, Virginia to bike down the Virginia Creeper Trail. We rented bikes from Adventure Damascus and they drive you to the top of the Mount Rogers. You then set out on a leisurely ride down the mountain following the path of the old Virginia Creeper train. The path is a nice crushed stone and the grade is not very steep since at one time a train had to climb the grade. Damascus is a hub on the Appalachian Trail (AT) with many people stopping overnight on their hike. The AT also runs along the Creeper Trail for a spell. All in all, the day was very nice. We stopped for some ice cream and then stopped by the local fly fishing shop. We then went to Abingdon, VA for a craft fair.

You can check out more photos from the day HERE.


There was not a rowing club in the Tri-City area so we ended up car-topping our singles to a nearby lake on the weekends.

May 16, 2009: We bought a brand new Peinert X25 for Erynn. Doug had been rowing on Patrick Henry Lake in the Warrior's Path State Park for a couple months before that. But this was Erynn's first outing and the first time she's had her own shell. It was built for her size and weight and she picked out the periwinkle color. There's no rowing club in the area so we wade in at one of the lake's boat ramps. I don't imagine that the locals are accustomed to rowers so we wear the hunter orange hats so people with 20 foot boats and 500hp motors are able to see us as they scream down the lake.

You can check out more photos from her first outing HERE. You can also see photos of when the boat was delivered the day before HERE.

May 20, 2009: To hold Erynn's new single, we built some boats rack next to our shed. Her boat has the pretty orange and blue Burnham cover.

You can check out more photos from the project HERE.

Some of Our Favourite Places

Downtown Jonesborough was only a couple miles from our house. It was the first town in Tennesse and is the county seat for Washington County. Aside from being a quaint little town, it holds a famous story telling festival each year. There's even a storytelling center (right photo) for visitors.

Some more photos from Jonesborough...
Courthouse on the left and the historic Chester Inn on the right.

We were generally happy with the variety and availability of good restaurants in the area. The BBQ was awesome and within half an hour from our house in Jonesborough one could find almost anything between Greeneville, Jonesborough, Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol. We really felt Jonesborough was perfectly located to take advantage of everything.

The right photo shows the Mad Greek Restaurant just off Highway 19 in Bristol. Good stuff.

The left photo is Russo's in downtown Johnson City. Russo's was probably our favorite restaurant in the area. The cuisine was Cajun/New Orleans and they made the best Shrimp Po' Boy I've ever eaten. They had another location in the burbs, but we only frequented the downtown location. Support down town businesses!

Another terrifc place was Stan's Bar-B-Q in Greeneville, but unfortunately I never took a photo. You'll just have to go there yourself!!!

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