I spent this misty, foggy, dreary morning at Eagles Rest Ranch. I laughed, I got dirty with manure, and I was blown away at a simple gator ride through the woods. I'm fighting the urge to go into detail about every minute that we spent there, but I have a few things that I would like to share:
First, if you want to visit Eagles Rest Ranch, then contact the name on the website. This place has buffalo, Angus cows, longhorns, a huge equestrian program (they have therapy sessions for kids everyday), 400 acres that go to the top of Lookout Mountain, a 200 year old cabin, a pond with canoes, a playground, spots for camping, and a path that used to be a railroad line stretching all the way to Florida. It's amazing.
Second, I got to know this place by the owner, Burton Brown. He used to come to the downtown bookstore where I worked and we had a great time talking about books. I knew what he liked to read, and his wife would come by while he got chemo and have me pick out books for him. One year, he gave everyone at the bookstore buffalo meat for Christmas. He was Chattanooga's version of the Marlboro Man. I hadn't talked to him in years, but I called him up a month ago to see if we could visit and he was more than accommodating. He told me to make myself at home and I was welcome anytime, so naturally I brought a friend and we had a huge adventure.
Disclaimer: if you go on an adventure with me, just know that it might turn into a production. I told John everything that happened to find the place and get close to the buffalo and he said that Kate was a good person to go with. We laughed at all our antics.
I'm completely in love with this place. I've never seen a buffalo in person. Before I met Burton, I thought that buffaloes were roaming the range far away from Tennessee-ya know from that one song...but now I know differently. They are huge, quick animals, and I'm impressed.
I wish I would have brought a picnic and let the kids have time to dig in the dirt while I sat still for a bit. This trip was more exploratory to see what they have to offer, because I have big plans to return and spend some more time here.
At the end, Burl said, "Mama this a fun adventure you brought us on, but we didn't bring all our friends." That boy is just like his mama-wants to go on adventures and include all his people. We had a great Monday morning adventure and I'm so glad that we got to go.