Tag: climbing

Ijams Nature Center In Knoxville, TN

Nature, Photography January 9, 2019

I recently visited Mead’s Quarry Lake, part of the Ijams Nature Center, a 315-acre park along the Tennessee River in Knoxville, where I hiked various trails for a few hours. One of my favorites was the Ross Marble Quarry Loop, which included the Keyhole. A sign along the trail read:

If you take the time to look around, you will find large blocks of limestone strewn about this abandoned quarry pit and the wall that surrounds the Keyhole. Operations began in the early 1900s on the property originally known as the John M. Ross Quarry. The quarrying involved removing overburden, drilling the marble to form large blocks, prying the blocks from the rock face, lifting them using derricks and cables and transporting them out for cutting and polishing elsewhere.

Additional information included the following:

Mead’s Quarry Rail Line. FYI Railcars moved the large marble blocks to the nearby Tennessee River along rail spurs via adjacent Mead’s Quarry. During the 1920s, operations shifted to the Williams Lime Manufacturing Company, which is an indication that the large-scale marble extraction had tapered off.

When I came across the area called the Keyhole, I looked down to see a pathway leading to two sets of stairs. Recent rains had left the ground damp and the clay-mud dangerously slick. And, with moss growing everywhere, I decided to proceed with caution.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Winding my way across ledges, over rocks and around puddles, I could finally see the Keyhole at the base of a 40′ wall of stacked rocks. It was an impressive sight to be sure, no small undertaking.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Standing at the entrance, I felt small among the many massive boulders. The passageway itself was probably 7′ from floor to ceiling, a scale not apparent in these pictures.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

On the other side, I encountered Sasquatch! Just kidding, but there were surprises around every corner. I was greeted by the sun brightening the surrounding landscape, and I descended a series of steps toward the bottom of the quarry.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Standing in the middle of the forest while surrounded by walls made of large blocks of limestone was certainly an unusual and interesting way to spend the afternoon. And I wasn’t alone, either, meeting several people who were also visiting the area for their first time. Which brings me to my advice – if you have time, the weather is decent and you’re in the area, I suspect you’ll enjoy hiking this quarry!

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

I’d also recommend hiking the Haworth Hollow trail – more on that another time…

Climbing Stairs

Climbing Stairs

Photography, Products February 18, 2018

This black and white photograph was taken in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the stairwell of a local parking structure. I’ve formatted the print with framing in a style reminiscent of the famous photographer, Ansel Adams. A wide variety of prints are available in my gallery at Fine Art America – including framed, canvas, art, metal, wood and acrylic. Customize the print to make it your own!

Ladder To The Clouds

Ladder To The Clouds

Photography, Structures December 8, 2017

This black and white scene features a photograph of an old, industrial ladder leading up to a set of railroad tracks on a trestle, and is collaged with a second picture of clouds in the sky. If you’re interested in adding a print to a wall in your home or at work, then stop by for a visit to my galleries at Fine Art America and/or Redbubble. Other items available, also.

Structure of Stairs

Structure of Stairs

Photography, Structures September 2, 2017

Which way is up? Good question. Whichever set of stairs you traverse, you’re bound to wind up in the same place within this symmetrical structure of stairs. If you suffer from vertigo, perhaps the elevator would be best. Visit my galleries for more – Society 6, Redbubble and Pixels. Thanks for stopping by!