The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

Hiking Ijams – Mead’s Quarry August 27, 2012

Earlier this month the hubby and I went for a hike at the Mead’s Quarry in the Ijams Nature Center. The trail we hiked is called the Tharp Trace Trail. This is the most strenuous trail at Ijams. It is 1.1 mile loop with a few steep long hills but once you reach the top you are looking over the quarry and on a clear day you can see Mt. LeConte. This is a great place to take pictures but with all the leaves from the surrounding trees it was hard to get a clear picture of the lake, maybe we will try again in the fall.

What goes up must come down. After you reach the summit you work your way down back to the bottom of the quarry but on your way down the trail is the historic Stanton Cemetery. This was an old family plot but later became a community graveyard for people that lived and worked on the quarry. Some of the graves date back to 1870 and the latest 1939. For some odd reason I really like old graveyards. If you read the sign it says that the husband and wife where buried next to each other however they were faced in opposite directions. This is due to the fact they were divorced in life.


Tharp Trace trail is great for a small hike. It takes about an hour or two if your not rushing which we weren’t because we had the dog and was looking for a relaxing daily hike. I highly recommend all the trails in Ijams. This is one of my favorite places to visit because there is so much to do. The best part is it is free and you can take your dogs there as long as they are on a leash.



Searching for the Moonbow July 12, 2012

First of all, that is not a grammar error in the title of this blog. It indeed should say moonbow not rainbow. A moonbow is created by light reflecting off the surface of the moon rather than from the sun like in a rainbow. The place you can observe one is in Cumberland Falls, KY. There are only certain days of the year that the moonbow is observable and those are on the nights there is a bright full moon and no clouds in the sky. On July 3rd there was a full moon and we decided to pack our camping gear and go see if we could spot the moonbow.

If you plan on staying overnight you set up camp in the Daniel Boone National Forest and from there you can either drive or hike a small trail to the falls. We reserved 2 spots early due to it being a holiday week and space was limited. FYI: If you plan on camping and have more than one tent you will need to rent another campsite. As you can see in forth picture, the sites are awfully small. They do have electricity so you can plug in a radio or fan but not much because you only get one outlet per site. The price was $25 per site and you can reserve them online for a $3 fee.



We set up camp around 10:30 pm on Tuesday night. We arrived behind schedule due to the fact I had to work until 6:00 pm that day and we also had to met up with two friends of ours and their daughter that were also coming along, plus we couldn’t find our camping spots, had to stop for gas, ice, food etc. Anyways, we got delayed and had to use headlamps to set up camp. This worked out well because you can’t even witness the bow until dark.

We arrive at the falls area around 11:00 pm, give or take a few minutes, as we walked closer to the falls you could see that there large group of people waiting to see the moonbow. I mean probably about 100 or more people were sitting calmly on rocks around the falls looking up in the sky in hopes for clear weather. I honestly didn’t think that many people would have been there. You have to be careful when going at night due to the fact it is not level ground around the falls and it could be slick. That night there was a bright full moon but there were also a few clouds in the sky and a massive one was covering the moon. We waited calmly for about an hour hoping the wind would blow the cloud away and we would get to see what we came here for but it never happened.

Sad and disappointed we back to our campsites. We cooked a few hotdogs and smores on the camp fire and had a few drinks. We stayed up pretty late into the night just talking and enjoying being in the outdoors. My husband and I (plus Mr. Malachi) slept great in our tent however our friends had some issues, their air mattress went flat and had to sleep on the ground. There were hardly and bugs out and the temperature was prefect, great camping weather.

We woke up early and packed up camp then headed to the falls to see it during the day.

With the sunlight you could see so much more of the falls and how beautiful it is. There are many different places you can view the falls. The picture above is me on the lower viewing deck but the view from the top is also good. You hike along the trails in the park and you can reach the bottom of the falls. This is were you can put it if you want to kayak or float on tubes which you can rent at the entrance to the park. We had a great time and plan on going again once there is a full moon on a day we are off from work. Maybe next time we will be lucky.


Hiking The Rainbow Falls April 15, 2012

The Rainbow Falls Trail is one of several that will take you to the top of Mt. LeConte and is also the oldest or earliest route to LeConte. The trail can be challenging, but also offers an intermediate reward in that it affords the hiker a rest at the beautiful Rainbow Falls.

The Rainbow Falls Trail is fairly challenging if completed all the way to Mt LeConte. Allow an hour and a half to Rainbow Falls and four hours to Mt LeConte. Hikers will gain nearly 4,000 feet in elevation by the time they get to Mt. LeConte.


Hiking in South Knoxville January 30, 2011

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Today was unseasonable warm day for January so and Phil and I took full advantage of it. Our poor pups haven’t been able to get out in a while now and they were more than excited about today’s hike. After, dealing with the hassle of getting all the leashes together and 2 dogs in the car, we were on our way.  Now where to? We have always talked about going to Ijam’s Nature Center for a while now, and today we decided to go check it out . Plus, it is only 15 mins down the road from us.  Here are a few photos we took today.

The best part of the place is the history that goes with it.  Check out to learn about the Ijams family.