Saturday, October 29, 2011

Serendipity at Blue Hole Springs

I had a really cool experience this week at work and no it didn't involve bears, raccoons, or any other furry creature.  It involved my nana and granddaddy - who unfortunately are not living anymore. 
I have this childhood memory with my nana and grandaddy from when I was probably 5 or so.  They took me to a park and we went on a tour with the naturalist.  This is what I remember from my 5 year old memory.....

Nana and Grandaddy took me to a park and it was just me and not my sisters.   At this park we took a tour with the ranger and the ranger talked about the Trail of Tears and I remember being sad because she told about how horrific that was for the Indians.  And then I remember going to this Blue Hole and what I remember is the Blue Hole was a bottomless hole of water that the Cherokee Indians drank water and where many children drowned because it was a "bottomless" hole.   I remember it just being a kind of creepy, scary, but really cool place - because to me this was almost a haunted hole - where kids die.  (In hindsight I have no idea if the ranger actually said anything about kids dieing or if my grandparents just told me to stay close so I wouldn't fall in and drown).  Even at a young age I was a good swimmer, as I had taken lessons starting very young.  I couldn't understand why people would drown even in a bottomless pit - because it isn't like you need a bottom to swim.  I thought maybe there was something weird about the blue hole that sucked people in. 

For some reason this memory has stuck with me all these years and I have always wondered about that hole.  I obviously no longer believed that I had seen a bottomless hole that sucked unexpecting children in -but I have always wondered where we were and has always been one of those places I wanted to see again.  I am not sure why but I never asked my Nana about about that trip to the blue hole - probably because I knew my memory was from a young child's perspective and I didn't know if was anywhere close to reality.

This week at work I went to check out Red Clay State Park which is south of Cleveland, TN about the possibility of trapping raccoons.  I went in and talked to the ranger and she showed me a map of the park.  I quickly saw a landmark called "Blue Hole Springs" and I asked the ranger about it.  She explained that it is a natural spring and the hole was 14 feet deep and created the blue color.  I was so excited and knew that this was the place from my memories.   I didn't tell her that I remembered it being a bottomless pit that sucked children but I did ask her where the Blue Hole was so I could go see it for myself.

I walked down to the Blue Hole and sure enough - that is the one from my memory.  Well, probably a lot smaller and less menacing - but definitely the one I remember.  I think it is funny that my "bottomless child sucking hole" is a 14 foot natural spring.   Regardless, I was so glad to have happened upon this memory!   It made me miss my grandparents and then feel comfoted by them at the same time.