Was Further Agreed That Any Mountain That Is Over Six Thousand Feet
High Is Too High To Ascend On Foot.
With this amicable adjustment we forded the Holston, crossing it
twice within a few miles.
This upper branch of the Tennessee is a
noble stream, broad, with a rocky bed and a swift current. Fording
it is ticklish business except at comparatively low water, and as it
is subject to sudden rises, there must be times when it seriously
interrupts travel. This whole region, full of swift streams, is
without a bridge, and, as a consequence, getting over rivers and
brooks and the dangers of ferries occupy a prominent place in the
thoughts of the inhabitants. The life necessarily had the "frontier"
quality all through, for there can be little solid advance in
civilization in the uncertainties of a bridgeless condition. An
open, pleasant valley, the Holston, but cultivation is more and more
negligent and houses are few and poorer as we advance.
We had left behind the hotels of "perfect satisfaction," and expected
to live on the country, trusting to the infrequent but remunerated
hospitality of the widely scattered inhabitants. We were to dine at
Ramsey's. Ramsey's had been recommended to us as a royal place of
entertainment the best in all that region; and as the sun grew hot in
the sandy valley, and the weariness of noon fell upon us, we
magnified Ramsey's in our imagination, - the nobility of its
situation, its cuisine, its inviting restfulness, - and half decided
to pass the night there in the true abandon of plantation life.
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