Devil’s Nose, in Hawkins County, Tennessee, is the highest peak 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 family answered, “Only the devil knows.”
The Appalachian Irishman has hiked Devil’s Nose since his high school days. The uncle to 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 the usual annual hike up “the Nose.” Since 2002, the 10th hike up Devil’s Nose was on 11/29/13. The weather was cool and clear – almost perfect, if it had been a little cooler, as in 20F or so.
In recent years, only my youngest brother has been brave enough to venture up “the Nose” with me. The following are photos from the 11/29/13 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! (Figure out how she and I are related exactly!) This young girl certainly has some Appalachian Irishman 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.