into the woods

The Cumberland Plateau region of Tennessee (also known as the “Cumberland Mountains”) refers to that portion of the Appalachian Plateaus Province that runs through Kentucky and Tennessee and into Alabama.  Rising a thousand feet above the surrounding valley, the Cumberland Plateau is an uplifted tableland with broad plains dissected by river canyons.  It contains some of the largest stretches of hardwood forests in the Eastern United States, and it is absolutely beautiful.  Uplands Retirement Village is located here on the Cumberland Plateau.

Back in January, when I began a conversation with the Uplands about the possibility of a visit here this summer, we were graciously offered the historic Munson-Fletcher Log House as a place to stay during our one-week visit.  “It’s rustic,” I was warned.  “Not to worry,” I said, “we are good at rustic.”  “We do rustic at our own cabin in the Poconos.”

The Munson-Fletcher Log House was built in 1932 by Miss Elizabeth Fletcher, one of the three founders of what is now Uplands Retirement Village.  A description of the cabin reads like this:

“Traversing the path behind the Braun home, crossing a small stream, one comes upon this charming log cabin nestled among the dogwoods, tulip poplars, and hemlocks.”

They weren’t fooling:

Inside, the house has become a “charming repository for artifacts relating to the early history of Uplands.”[1]

Back in January, the Munson-Fletcher Log Cabin seemed like a good idea.  Yes, it is “rustic,” but it has running water and an indoor potty, making it way more luxurious than our cabin in the Poconos.  What I failed to really appreciate was what mid-July in Tennessee feels like.  And this, they tell me, ‘really ain’t that hot.’  In fact, it’s supposed to ‘warm up’ later this week.

There is no doubt that the people of the Uplands are made of stronger stuff than I am.  After 24 hours in the most soulful little log cabin I’ve ever seen, we were able to negotiate a move to one of the Uplands guest cottages… with air-conditioning… and wi-fi.

A couple months ago the cockroaches got the better of me.  This time it was the heat and humidity.  The verdict is officially in: I’m a wuss.

[1] Jean Clark, “Many take advantage of open house at charming log home,” Crossville Chronicle, November 29, 2011.

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