I started the week as promised in Falls Creek Falls State Park. This really is a beautiful and well done state park. I enjoyed it so much I ended up staying two nights. There are some great trails to hike, some fun suspension bridges to cross, and of course some beautiful waterfalls. When I arrived, I got my campsite organized and then hiked from there over to the namesake Fall Creek Falls. It was, I believe, the third waterfall I've seen this month which claimed to be the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. Well, the waterfall didn't claim that but the signage did. I've always been fascinated at how difficult it apparently is to measure a waterfall. Either way, it really doesn't matter. They've all been awesome in my book. Along the path, I saw more of one of my favorite flowers: Mountain Laurel. A lot of them are just starting to bud, and the buds look like little vanilla soft-serve cones with strawberry syrup. They make me happy every time…
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I learned to really appreciate whiskey about ten years ago when I did my first tour of the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Before then, I could drink whiskey as a shot or in a mixed drink, but didn’t really appreciate it as a sipping drink. After that tour, though, once I saw how it was made and what went into it, I could pick up a glass of Jack and smell the wood burning in the charcoal production area and the clean, new barrels. It would transport me back to that chilly fall day, just before Thanksgiving, and then I could sip on it all day with a smile on my face.
While my tastes have grown and changed and evolved over the last ten years, there is just something about the smell of Jack Daniel's which has cast its spell over me. Like a first love or a first car I guess, just something that is (hopefully) always remembered with fondness. I’ve been back to the Jack Daniel's distillery half a dozen times or more since then and I've always enjoyed the tour. Because most of these more recent visits have been while I was guiding, and on tours where the visit was included, I have usually just breezed through Tullahoma on the way to or from Lynchburg. I always knew that the George Dickel Distillery was in Tullahoma, but never had the chance to stop and see it. I finally got there this week, and really enjoyed my tour there as well. I figured I would write this post comparing and contrasting the two tours for you. If you have the time to do both, they are both well worth the effort, but if you had to choose just one, here are a few factors to consider.