Showing posts with label Devil's Nose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Devil's Nose. Show all posts

Sunday, May 01, 2022

“DEVIL'S NOSE,” by WINNIE SEALS (published 5-1-2022; article #317)


The first article today was a rough draft that I finished finally. This is the second rough draft that I am finishing today.

The fourth anniversary of the passing of my mother-in-law (Phyllis Ann House Gordon, 4/10/1941 - 4/30/2017) was yesterday. The celebratory article that I published yesterday helped Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and her family survive the sad memory of my mother-in-law's passing.

One of the four subsections, in the first article today, is about the CHS Yearbook. I was too late to have my website advertised in the 2022 Yearbook. I did donate the price of a Yearbook, so that a student, who could not afford one, could have one. Winnie (Winn) Seals and I conversed by phone, on 3/29/2022, as folks from Hawkins County Tennessee do. She is a teacher at Cherokee High School and a member of their Yearbook staff.

We both have an interest in Devil's Nose – in Hawkins County. The Topic Section, Devil's Nose, has five articles that I have published, over the years.

Winnie (Winn) Seals emailed me her painting of Devil's Nose, in two images, and her poem, “Devil's Nose.” She granted me permission, on 3/29/2022, to publish her painting and poem, citing her full name, in a future article, once I got around to writing it. Well, Winn, here it is! I will email you after I publish this article, as I promised, on 3/29/2022!

Winn Seals' Devil's Nose Painting

In her second email of 3/29/2022, Winnie (Winn) Seals wrote, “Here is my work from Devil's Nose Inspiration.” I am inspired. I hope that my readers are.

Winn Seals' “Devil's Nose” Poem

Devil’s Nose

Sunlight breaks through the clouds
Revealing a mountain peak.
Sloping up from the valley below.
A crooked nose
Seen from far away.

At the foot of the summit
The valley hovers in its shadow.

Over two centuries ago
When the valley was settled
Folks made the climb.

The long trek up the bridge of the nose
Ascends in a challenging slant.
Crosses a shallow stream.
               A rugged trail.

Near the top of the trail
It ends in a flat surface.
               God’s place.

An early traveler once asked,
“What’s the mountain's name?”
The mountain pioneer replied,
“The Devil knows.”

– Winn Ann Seals

How Devil's Nose got its name is a mystery. One theory is in Winnie Seals' poem. The mountain, viewed from the east, looks like a crooked nose, as Winn's poem mentions. Another theory is that someone hiked Devil's Nose and never returned. The question, many decades ago, was, “Where did he go?” The reply was, “Only the devil knows.”

I started tracking my hiking record, on 4/23/2000. It lists ten hikes on Devil's Nose, from 2/16/2002 to 11/29/2013. My “bionic” life that started on 3/29/2016 has forestalled my next hike on Devil's Nose – for now!


When will I hike Devil's Nose again? God only knows!

Thank you, Winnie Seals, for allowing me to share your painting and poem on my website. It took me a while to get to it, in the context of “life, such as it was.” You are welcome to reprint or publish this article, by any means, as you desire. Let's get a group together, for a Devil's Nose hike, this fall!

As of today, I now have six “Devil's Nose” articles in that Topic Section!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

DEVIL’S NOSE HIKING RECORD, 2/16/2002 to 11/29/2013, SO FAR (published 11-15-2020)

On 11/12/2020, Thursday, an unnamed here, whom I know, reader emailed me, regarding my various articles about Devi’s Nose hikes. The reader, known to me, seems like a fine man! He inspired me to dedicate this article to my Devil’s Nose hikes, within the context of life.

The following is part of my 11/15/20, Sunday, email reply to this good reader! (Y’all remember that my website protects your privacy far better than “Farcebook!”)

I haven’t been “brave” enough to hike Devil’s Nose, since my last hike “up the Nose,” on 11/29/13, Friday. I don’t have plans to “hike the Nose” this year, unless my plans change. My 8/26/2016 article, “I’m Still Alive – Why?” (, has the starting point of the reason I haven’t hiked Devil’s Nose in a while.

Having grown up in Hawkins County, in my elementary school and high school years, my friend, to this day, had an uncle who owned property at the southwest base of Devil’s Nose. My friend, another friend, the younger sibling brothers of two of us, and I hiked Devil’s Nose an uncountable number of times, from the late 1960’s until the late 1970’s. I have many memories of those hikes!

Eventually, I educated myself formally and married. My wife and I lived in Missouri (1986 – 1994) then in Russia (1994 – 1999). We returned to the northeast Tennessee area in late 1999. My website journal has several details of life. (I suggest a subject search on “Mom.”)

I started keeping my hiking log on 4/23/2000. My Devil’s Nose hikes, since 4/23/2000, are ten total (so far):

(1) 02/16/02, Saturday, with two of my three younger brothers and youngest brother’s wife.

(2) 11/30/02, Saturday, with the same as 2/16/02 with me.

(3) 11/26/04, Friday, with my youngest brother and his wife.

(4) 11/25/05, Friday, with my youngest brother only.

(5) 11/24/06, Friday, with my youngest brother, on our mother’s birthday (born in 1932). (Our mother “went to see Jesus” on 12/27/2000.)

(6) 11/23/07, Friday, by myself (no one would hike with me).

My notes from that hike: first time to hike alone. 11 AM - 3:40 PM: 50 min up, 45 min. across, 45 min. at bluff, 45 min. back, 35 min. down; little white & black dog with me; partly cloudy, breezy, mid. 40’s.

(Additional note today: our Dad joined Mom, on 1/25/2008. This was the last hike, on 11/23/07, that Dad was able to see me leave from the homeplace, to hike, and return to the homeplace, after the hike.)

(7) 11/28/09, Saturday, with my youngest brother.

My notes from that hike: 10:45 AM – 4:15 PM; 1 hr. up, 1 hr. across. 1.5 hrs. at bluff. 1 hr. across. 45 min. down; black dog with us; sunny, 60.

(8) 11/27/10, Saturday, with my youngest brother.

My notes from that hike: 10:15 AM – 3:45 PM: 1.5 hrs. up; 1.25 hrs. across; 1.5 hrs. at bluff; 1 hr. across; 45 min. down; sunny then cloudy then sunny; low 40’s.

(9) 11/25/11, Friday, with my youngest brother.

My notes from that hike: 10:15 AM – 4:00 PM: 1.5 hrs. up; 1 hr. across; 1.5 hrs. at bluff; 1 hr. across; 45 min. down. Clear, warm (60’s).

(10) 11/29/13, Friday, with my youngest brother, for 10th hike in my log.

My notes from that hike: 11 AM – 4:30 PM: ~ count time. Clear, ~45 F, snow on north side & ridge. Photos w/bobcat tracks! Saw <cousin’s name deleted>’s ex-son-in-law, granddaughter, etc., on bluff.

Thank you, again, my newly found hiking friend and distant neighbor, for your email. I will post a section of this email, without your name mentioned, on my website. Thank you for inspiring me to write another website article also.

I trust that you have accepted the Good Lord’s salvation offer and are living according to it. This world is training for our everlasting Home. Can you imagine heavenly hiking? I can! Will it not be great? If we don’t meet here, I’ll enjoy a heavenly hike with you eventually!

Kindest regards, in Him,

Marion W. Ferrell

(My website is my penname, Merrion Fearghail. From Gaelic, Merrion is “brave man,” and Fearghail, my ancestral clan from County Longford, is “man of valor.")

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Devil's Nose, 11-29-2013 Hike (published 1-1-2014)

Devil’s Nose, in Hawkins County, Tennessee, is the highest peak, at its saddle, in the county. How it is named? I have heard two stories. From the east, the mountain looks like a crooked nose coming out of the ground. The other story is that someone got lost on the mountain and never returned. Someone asked, “Where is he?” The answer was, “Only the devil knows.”

This Appalachian Irishman has hiked Devil’s Nose, since his high school days. The uncle of a friend owned property at the southwest base of the mountain. We boys would hike up “the Nose” from his property. Later owners still allow us to hike from the same property. In 2002, I began keeping record of my usual annual hikes up “the Nose.”

My 10th hike up Devil’s Nose, since 2002, was on 11/29/2013. The weather was cool and clear – almost perfect. If it had been a little cooler, as in 20F or so, the weather would have been perfect.

In recent years, only my youngest brother has been brave enough to venture up “the Nose” with me. The following are photos from our 11/29/2013 hike.

The first two are of my brother and me, at what he calls “the Samson Rock.” This is a rock formation, as we hike up the southwest side.

The next photo is of my youngest brother, climbing in his favorite tree on the ridge, heading east. He likes to have his photo taken in this tree every year!

It had snowed the day before, on Thanksgiving, and snow was still on the ground, on the ridge and on the north side of the mountain. We found fox and bobcat tracks on the ridge. The next photo looks like fox tracks.

This next photo looks like a set of bobcat tracks.

The next two photos are heading east on the ridge. This is the first time that I can remember hiking with snow on the mountain.

The next three photos are taken from the east bluff, looking south and southeast. A group of four hikers came up the treacherous east side, using rope and hooks, while we were on the bluff.One was a nine-year-old girl, who is the great granddaughter of my uncle Carson and aunt Hazel Ferrell! (Can you figure out how she and I are related exactly?) This young girl certainly has some Appalachian Irish blood in her!

The next two photos are the traditional “standing on the bluff” photos of my youngest brother and me.

Lord willing, I want to hike Devil’s Nose every year, the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving, as a memorial to my mother, whose birthday was on November 24th, 1932.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Devil's Nose Tradition (published 11-28-2010)

My grade school and high school friend, Bill, had an uncle Walter, who lived and owned land at the southwest base of Devil’s Nose, in my beloved and native Hawkins County. Bill, his brother, my brother Clark, another friend Randy, and I went “up the Nose,” from “uncle Walter’s” land, back in those days a few times.

Some things change. Some remain. “Uncle Walter” is gone, but a descendant still lives in his old homeplace. Now, at least, my youngest brother, Doug, and I “hike the Nose,” on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving every year, as a tradition, since Mom’s passing in December 2000. I have kept records for 2001 forward. To make up for not going after Thanksgiving 2001, Doug, his wife, and our next to youngest brother, Arthur, and I hiked in February 2002. Since then, at least Doug and I have hiked every year, except 2003 and 2008. Well, I hiked alone in 2007.

Devil’s Nose stands alone, rising about 2,300 feet, with a ridge running west to east, south of the Clinch Mountain range. Years ago, I heard two origins for the name. Viewing the mountain from the east, it looks like a craggy nose coming out of the ground. Another option is that a man, long ago, went into the mountain and never came out. When asked, “Where did he go?” Someone replied, “The devil knows.”

Regardless of how named, Devil’s Nose calls, at least once a year, and my brother and I must answer. I enjoy the woods and the solitude. The east bluff unfolds a spectacular view of the valley below. Hiking in the woods clears my mind, heals my soul, and rejuvenates my body. Looking down from above, my mind expands, and the minute issues of daily life take perspective. A man needs to answer the call.

The first two photos are taken from the south side of the Nose. Can you see the hawk in the close up of the east bluff?

The next two photos are from the southwest side that we go up to get to the west side of the ridge. Make your own trail most of the way. At one point, climb over the rocks, pulling and crawling your way up! Do you see the icicles? The valley temperature was in the upper 30’s in the morning. The ridge was colder!

This photo is facing east, near the east bluff, along the ridge. We’re almost there! You can follow an animal trail part of the way, but you must find your own way mostly. Isn’t that true in life too?

The next three photos are at the east bluff. A persimmon tree was still ripe, and we enjoyed its fruit. Just don’t eat before it’s ripe! I made a small fire from damp leaves, pine needles, and twigs. Of course, the Appalachian Irishman had to strip down to his T-shirt in the cool weather!

The final two photos look toward the southern valley, below the mountain. What views! The camera does not capture well the view that the mind retains!

You know, if the weather allows, I might just need to see who will “hike up the Nose” with me around Christmas this year!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

House Mountain & Devil's Nose (published 12-12-2009)

Hiking is the Appalachian Irishman’s escape from the trappings of work and modern society. Living a harder but simpler life in the wilderness of Appalachia 150 to 200 years ago appeals to the imagination.

The following are photos from recent hikes on House Mountain in Knox County, where the Appalachian Irishman is forced, be economic necessity, to live at the moment, and Devil’s Nose, in the Appalachian Irishman’s native and beloved Hawkins County. Enjoy the views.

These are from House Mountain, looking southeast then northwest, from two bluffs. For other entries on House Mountain, read My Mountain, House Mountain Winterland, and Best-Dressed Hiker.

These are of Devil’s Nose. First, see the mountain, from the south. Next, see the views, looking south, from the eastern bluff. For another entry on Devil’s Nose, read Devil's Nose Mountain, Hawkins County.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Devil's Nose Mountain, Hawkins County (published 3-7-2006; 2nd article)

Ah, so relaxing – the view from the eastern bluff of Devil's Nose in beloved Hawkins County! Get away from the trappings of modern life and wonder how you would have lived 150 or 200 years ago! The crunch of the leaves under foot, the smell of the cool fall air, and the beauty of the clear autumn sky invigorates the soul – making the struggle through the briars not too aggravating.

Yes, yes, my inaugural article (of yesterday, 3/6/2006) was a bit salty – overstatement for effect in my political persona. But the true Appalachian native enjoys the woods – hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. He yearns for simpler times, when family lived and farmed together. You knew your neighbors, and they honestly cared for you. Times were hard, yes, but modern conveniences would not have been missed then – since they weren't around. People worked with their hands, staying better fit than today's "couch pizza." (The potato, being an Irish staple, gets a bad rap. It is rather nutritious!) Churches were not mega, big business conglomerates but small, rural spiritual families.

Okay, okay, I am romanticizing a bit, yes, but do you not feel the temptation to go back? What say you?