I’m making a plan to make a plan

It’s not often to get to plan a long trip.

Like, if you want to so some place other than the next county, although many have been known to plan extensively for a foray into Union County. Not that I have anything against Union County. I like Union County.

A couple of years ago I took a trip to Union County. I got lost.

See, I was looking for Big Ridge State Park and somehow I ended up at Chuck Swan State Forest, which is in Sharp’s Chapel, except I thought Sharp’s Chapel was a Civil War battlefield (because doesn’t it just sound like a Civil War battlefield?) and I didn’t even know there was a Chuck Swan State Forest — heck, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a state forest because I grew up in a big city — and then when I heard the name of the forest I was even doubly sure Sharp’s Chapel was a Civil War battlefield because Chuck Swan sounds like it should be the name of a general in the Civil War.

But it’s not.

And don’t get Big Ridge State Park, or Chuck Swan State Forest, confused with House Mountain State Natural Area, which is supposed to be in Corryton — and I’m not sure is that’s in Union County or not — but see? I should have planned my trip to Union County better.

I didn’t know where I was going or where I went — though I did enjoy myself immensely.

As far as I can tell, Union County is like a lot of counties in East Tennessee, it’s just plain beautiful at times and at times it gets visited by people who like to throw stuff out of their car windows.

Why do people do that? That’s just rude.

Anyway. I’m planning a trip this summer, but not sure where to, yet. I think it will be out west to “Big Sky” country — which I think is misleading because there’s as much sky here as there is out west but there is more of the sky hidden here by mountains and trees and whatnot.


That’s a trip you have to plan because what’s in Montana?

Big sky, that’s what. And cowboys and stuff.

How about Wyoming? Same thing as Montana but spelled differently. You still have to plan because you don’t want to get all the way out there and realize you don’t know what to do besides look at cows and horses because you’re not sure what the area has to offer.

Are there baseball stadiums? Putt-putt golf courses? Do they have road side attractions such as the “Largest Ball of String?”

I know that some place out west has the “Largest Ball of String (or is it yarn?),” but I’m not sure where. It may be in Nebraska. Do you know what Nebraska has? Wheat. And corn. And flat land.

And if you go some place out west is it better to drive? Or better to fly?

That’s a lot of driving over flat land, but then … You can always find the world’s biggest ball of string, or whatever, to kinda break up the day.

If you fly you won’t have that opportunity unless you rent a car and drive backwards a little. And if you do that, then why fly in the first place.

See what I mean? It takes planning.

So maybe I’ll just hang around East Tennessee, take a trip to Union County — because now I know there’s not a Civil War battlefield there and there are at least three nature-type areas full of bears and bees and other wild animals.

Skunks, maybe.

Word of advice, plan on staying away from skunks.

They can make you smell bad (and that’s world-wide, too).

The best part about taking a trip really is not in the planning. It’s in the actual doing — the actualy, “Oh my gosh, I can’te believe I’m on my to Vonore,” or where ever.

It’s teh new stuff you see, the things that aren’t right next door. Like Civil War battlefields and wild animals and bears and bees.

And big sky.

And giant balls of string.