Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Andrew Jackson and The Hermitage

Location: Seven Points C.O.E. Campground (el. 510 ft); Hermitage, Tennessee

all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone
(click pictures to enlarge)

This is another Corps of Engineers campground. They are reasonable priced, mostly well designed and the locations are very pretty. Once I turn 62 years of age, the campground fee will be half of the normal rate, super good deal. This campground is on the banks of J. Percy Priest Reservoir which is just outside of Nashville. 
The campsites are huge compared to private campgrounds. You can see part of the lake on the right.
The towing trip was all interstate and an easy trip except the weather. When I got up on the morning to leave, the weather looked good with storms due to hit the Nashville area late in the afternoon. That was fine with me since I was due to arrive no later than 2 in the afternoon. When I checked the radar at my first rest area stops, it showed the storms hitting Nashville about the same time as me. I thought, dang, not again. This pattern has to stop. I did some quick number crunching with lots of variables such as the speed of the storm and decided I could make it to the campground about 30 minutes before the storm hit if I sped up a little bit. I normally cruise at 65 mph with towing, but in this case I was bumping 70. Freedom can easily tow at higher speeds but I'm more concerned about Liberty's tires at the higher speeds. I kept checking the weather radar on my cell phone about every 15 minutes and pulled into the campground with the storm clouds brewing overhead. I hurried up and got un-hitched before it started sprinkling. Yep, sprinkling, as in drizzling, misting, barely raining, heavy dew, etc. The radar was right, but for some reason, the storm clouds split in two with one band going south and one going north. I think it may be the size of this lake that caused the split. I have seen the same thing happens with storms coming out of Texas and splitting north and south of Toledo Bend (big lake on the border).

Typical landscape for most of the eastern half of Tennessee.

I was curious as to the name of this tree at one of the Tennessee rest areas. I found one of the park attendants and after interrupting her crossword puzzle, ask her. She said she thought it was a Crab Apple tree. 

The lake was angry when I first got here. The wind was blowing and the birds were heading for cover.

The reasons for coming here was to see The Hermitage and the Country Music Hall of Fame. After doing some checking, I blew off going to the Hall of Fame. Something didn't seem right when I started checking the induction dates of some really good artists. Some that should have been in decades ago only recently got inducted. I didn't want to pay $25.00 to see something that didn't seem fair. 

I did go see the Hermitage and was somewhat disappointed. I'm not sure if I have become jaded at seeing these types of places or if this individually was just a letdown. 

The Hermitage was the home of Andrew Jackson. He called it his farm but it was actually a plantation that grew cotton with slave labor. This visit is like so many of my visits to other places in that it completes some of the circles.
The Hermitage. It ranks way down on my list of such places.

The carriage road leading to the entrance, lined with cedar trees.

The back side

Looking up at the back side of The Hermitage from the walkway among some of the out buildings.
Jackson was the General in charge of the American forces during the Battle of New Orleans at Chalmette which I visited a month or so ago. 

Jackson led the effort to relocate the Indians from east of the Mississippi to the Oklahoma territory. The infamous Trail of Tears. This was wrong in the way it was done. It was cruel and unnecessary. It mainly affected what was called the "Five Civilized Tribes". There is a great Indian museum in the town of Cherokee, North Carolina which I visited almost 2 years ago. 

Jackson also helped put down a rebellion by the state of South Carolina while he was president. South Carolina got pissed by Congress enacting a high tariff on imports. This was a good thing for the industrialized northern states but was very bad for the raw materials (cotton) exporting states such as South Carolina. South Carolina passed a state law called the Act of Nullification which said if the state thought Congress had passed an unconstitutional law or one that specifically singled out and hurt South Carolina, that the state could refuse to enforce that federal law. This meant the high tariff passed by congress would not be enforced in South Carolina so goods could be shipped in and out of South Carolina's ports cheaper. South Carolina also started putting together an army to defend the state should Jackson decide to send in Federal troops. Needless to say, Congress and Jackson didn't like any of this. Congress passed two more laws. One to give Jackson the power and money he asked for to send Federal troops to South Carolina to enforce the law. The second one reduced the amount of the tariffs. It was hoped South Carolina would accept the lower tariff and end the stand-off. They did and both sides backed down. Jackson had shown his will to use military force to punish a state for threatening to go against the centralized federal government. Lincoln would use the same arguments before the Civil War but was not as successful as was Jackson. The connection here is my recent visit to Fort Sumter and the beginning of the civil war. Although part of South Carolina's reason for seceding before the Civil War was related to Slavery, it was also related to laws passed by Congress and not enforced by the Federal Government or some of the Northern States. These laws were about the return of runaway slaves. Slavery is wrong, always,,,,period. It makes it a little clearer to see where South Carolina was coming from when you know that only 30 years before the Civil War, they were prepared to secede from the union over what they saw as an unconstitutional tariff law. 

I have become a little disenchanted with parts of this eastern swing. I think part of it is the sense of being hemmed in all the time. As you drive just about anywhere east of the Mississippi River, trees mostly line the edge of the roadway. To me, this gives the feeling of going down tunnel without a top. You can only see the sky directly above you and are limited to about 200 feet of sight, side to side. The western part of the U.S. is mostly different with lots of places where your sight distance is only limited by the horizon. I may just be longing for some of the places out west that I've visited. I've been on the road two years now and was looking back on the places I've been over the last year. I'll be making a post sometime in the future about it, but I just haven't been able to trim it down in size.
Year one route. April 2014 to April 2015

Year two route. April 2015 to April 2016
Tomorrow is moving day and I'll be heading to a casino campground in Mississippi just south of Memphis. I'm going to post this without proof reading it since my back has a little twinge to it today. I hope it is better tomorrow. I haven't had to hitch up with a sore back before and don't want to start now.  

Barney, your blog is saying it has been removed. Is everything OK?

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.


  1. Darrell, I follow Al got a new post from Barney saying he's going to regroup and get back to blogging, just maybe not as often. If you don't already subscribe to Travel With The Bayfield Bunch, check out their blog. He always has beautiful photos.

    BTW, do you have FHUs at the COE park? Did you have to make reservations? How long cay you stay?


    Cat Lady

    1. Hello Cat,
      I read Al's blog too, but missed the part about Barney.
      Most of the COE parks are Water/Electric only with dump sites in the campground. I think there is a 14 day limit. About half of the campgrounds are reservable while the other half is first come.

  2. I am soon to start blogging again. I have the notice up on OFMAdventures now. In the East there is way too much "road rut" in the trees for my liking. If it wasn't for my relatives here I would not come east of the Mississippi River again. I am an open country type of fellow. The timbered east is nice by just not my style.

  3. Hi there...just wondering if you're ok..we love reading your blog in the mornings..and am missing you..

    1. hello Ken and Shirley. I'll be making a post today. My son had another stroke so am home for a while.

  4. Hello Darrell
    Hope all is well. We are on the West Coast now but were planning on the east coast (Virginia)in the fall to see our grandkids. We don't like the big cities but thought a trip to the North East (Maine etc.) might be nice in the fall. Do you have any thoughts or recommendations?

    1. Hello Steven,
      My favorite places in the northeast were Acadia National Park (very pretty views from Cadillac Mt and a boat ride around the islands). I really enjoyed D.C. and while the camping prices were very high, you can compensate for that by using the public transit into and around the city. Niagara Falls was also something I'm glad I didn't miss. Remember though, just about everything is more expensive in that area. Safe Travels.