Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery

Wow! So hard to believe it's mid-October already. The picture at left is from last fall (10-8-10). There is a bit more color now all around! The fall colors are pre-peak at this time, but with the rain, it might knock off some of the foliage. However, there should still be plenty of color for the next few weeks - but always dependent on the wind and other weather. You can get a sneak peak through the Sunset Marina webcam at Dale Hollow Lake. Nature lovers, I wanted to share a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the great outdoors. Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery on Lake Cumberland offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year. They still have a few sessions this year. Check out their event calendar at this link. Very informative and great for families and educators! You can also access thier webcam through their site - Happy Autumn! Get out and enjoy nature today!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer's Bounty 2011

I recently had an experience that I can’t help but share. Our friend, Ilaeka Villa of Grandview Mountain Cottages in Grandview, TN, invited us over for a delightful experience. Ilaeka and her dad (Papa Phil) delight in growing their own fresh produce and have a beautiful organic flower and vegetable garden on their property. It was time for blueberry picking! Terry, Grant, Blake and I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon picking the delicious and beautiful fruit. Family time is vital and it is important to share these experiences with our children. They learn so much about where their food comes from and the importance of choosing quality fruits and vegetables. You can’t beat fresh produce that is truly fresh. When you pick it yourself, you know exactly where it came from and when it was picked. You don’t loose quality due to premature picking and shipping for miles (or at least if you have miles to drive – you are in charge and can care for it more tenderly). Don’t wait until fall to get out and visit the region to enjoy the fall produce. Take the time now to find a local farm stand or other such source of the freshest produce you can find on the Cumberland Plateau. Sweet corn is ready and other produce is in abundance as well – homegrown tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, green beans, squash, cucumbers, and more!

Guests at the cottages are often fortunate to be able to share in the bounty with the bed and breakfast option or through their farmhouse catering service. Ilaeka and Papa Phil also delight in preserving their produce and even offer some of it for sale to guests through their “Porch Store”. Why not give them a call today and make plans to spend the night? You might just get a chance to visit the garden as well. 423-365-4412 or visit them on the web at Tell them that “Annie” sent you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring is HERE!

Spring! Even the word sounds invigorating. After the winter of 2010-11, I expect everyone is thrilled to see the new foliage burst forth. The native Redbud trees have been so vibrant and the dogwoods are still very beautiful. It is such a feast for the eyes as the hills wake up from their winter nap! HIS Majesty gloriously shines all around us. The Burckhard family loves to hike and we couldn’t wait for spring. We relish our opportunities to get out and explore the vast “wilderness” all around us. Our winter hikes are especially enjoyable. We pack a picnic lunch and sometimes stop at the little grocery stores near the parks for a few extras then head out on our explorations. Sometimes we see new plants that we haven’t seen before or in a while. Sometimes we spot a new bird or other animal. Other times we uncover recent history of the area. Often, we bring friends and/or family along to share our day. Anyway it goes; we count our blessings and enjoy God’s creations – including each other. There are many great hikes in the area. Fall Creek Falls State Park, Cumberland Mountain State Park, Burgess Falls State Natural Area, and the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area are just a few over our family favorites, plus the drives to these locations are also superb. Make plans now to get out and about to enjoy the season! Happy Trails! For more great stories on hikes in and around the areas, visit and click on the area that interests you most (also check the archived copies of the guides) and take a look at the guide to the area. Not all have stories of our hikes, but several do.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New, plus visit to Dovie's

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. It's hard to believe another year has come and gone. I've been busy exploring the regions and a bit behind in posting my travels. I hope to post more in the near future. We have just finished production of the new Fall Creek Falls and Dale Hollow Lake Visitor Guides for 2011. They are available for download through the and websites. ...lots of new Annie stories in each. They will also be available at the Nashville, Indianapolis & other boatshows if you would like a free hard copy.

Dovie’s is a nostalgic place that draws people from near and far to experience the mouth-watering taste of those special hand patted, beef burgers cooked the traditional “Dovie’s” way. From the mid 1930’s, this mainstay restaurant in downtown Tompkinsville, KY has served 300-600 hamburgers per day to local factory workers, visitors, and local residents. Dovie’s was once the heart of this small community. The Moore family has continually owned this legendary restaurant through all these years. We recently visited Freedom, KY on a Saturday for the dedication/memorial celebration for the founder of the Rollercoaster Yard Sale, Sarah Ann Bowers. I met the Cropper family who drove in from the suburbs of Nashville/Gallatin, TN. They were there to relive their childhood memories and eat these delicious burgers. If you are from the north, the texture of these burgers is similar to White Castle hamburgers. These burgers are formed daily by the ladies at Dovie’s, cooked in soybean oil and lovingly flipped over by hand. These ladies stand watching over the burgers like a shepherd watching over their flock. There is an art to the “Dovie’s” burger and there is proof of this on any day of the week, by the hundreds of people driving near and far to enjoy the succulent taste. Cheri Cropper smiled when she talked about Dovie’s and the fact that the Moore family has been the continuous owners since the 1930’s. While she was growing up in Tompkinsville, about thirty years ago, she said Dovie’s was her favorite place after school or on a Saturday morning. She remembered the pristine white starched shirts and pants the employees wore. Twenty- eight years later, she was sitting on a stool with her husband and her two children making new memories to share. They were enjoying the Indian summer afternoon at Dale Hollow Lake with a side trip to Dovie’s. Come to Dovie’s and have a burger or two or three and see what memories you can create. Tell the ladies that Annie sent you!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rollercoaster Yard Sale

Sept. 30, Oct. 1 & 2 marked the 25th Anniversary of the Rollercoaster Yard Sale. Wow! What an awesome sale it was! The weather couldn't have been better and the turnout of buyers and sellers was remarkable - one of the best - if not the best ever.
The folks at the Celina Lions Club Pancake Fundraiser on Saturday morning also had a wonderful time enjoying one another's company and a great breakfast. If you missed the sale this year, it's not to early to make plans (and mark your calendar) for the 2011 sale which will be held Sept. 29, 30, and Oct. 1 - always the first weekend in October.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fantastic Fudge!

As I was traveling through Clarkrange, TN yesterday, I took the opportunity to stop in at the Cumberland Mountain General Store & Rock-a-Billy Café to visit with owners, Ron & Lana Jones. Ron & Lana are wonderful people and I always enjoy stopping in to visit. The General Store is always choked full of wonderful items from days gone by and the Café is a feast for the senses! Recently, they have added a new feature – a fudge case filled with handcrafted fudge in a variety of flavors. Ron makes the fudge fresh every couple of days using quality ingredients and some of the finest cream and butter. I SAVORED some of the praline pecan yesterday…. oh, so decadent! They usually have at least a dozen flavors to choose from – even Key Lime made with key lime juice, Rocky Road, Chocolate Fudge, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and other tantalizing flavors. I also learned that the Rock-a-Billy Café is now serving barbeque prepared by their son Toby – who is doing the majority of the cooking there at present. All of their food is lovingly prepared by hand and you can tell with the first bite – if the first smell didn’t convince you. They specialize in hand formed all beef hamburgers, hand dipped ice cream, handcrafted milkshakes, and slow cooked barbeque in the 50’s style diner. Stop in today and tell them that “Annie” sent you or give them a call for more information and hours at (931) 863-3880.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Treasures of the past

Hello everyone,

I apologize that it has been a while. It's been a busy summer all around. As autumn approaches and we work to finalize the Fall Creek Falls Visitor Guide and Dale Hollow Lake Visitor Guide for 2011, my mind tends to wander to the harvest of history in my life and the area. On Sept. 11th, we held a Memorial Celebration in remembrance of Sarah Ann Bowers - founder of the Rollercoaster Yard Sale. Ms. Sarah was quite a unique individual with a grit and determination to get the job done. The weekend before that, I had the opportunity to go to Pickett State Park's Old Timer's Day Celebration and meet Mr. Oscar Odum, a former CCC Camper that helped build the Pickett State Park facilities with the help of so many others. Look for a story in the next issue of the Dale Hollow Lake Visitor Guide which is scheduled for release around the first of January. We are also working on a story about the Quil Trails in the area. They are quite popular. With the colors coming soon, you might consider checking out the local landscape and the beautiful blocks that dot the terrain. Happy Trails! Annie