from the Gent
Every once in a while, I run into someone
who stops me and says: "I know where you're from: "Mc-Minnn-ville,
Immediately, I know they've been on a motorcoach
with me on an area tour before or after a show at Falcon Rest.
Years ago, I was at one of my first GLAMER
shows, and someone asked me if I did a "step-on."
My response: "What's that?"
Many years and step-on tours later, I know:
it's "the icing on the cake" to the great fun they
have at Falcon Rest for those who want to spend more time
in our beautiful area of Middle Tennessee.
The yarns I tell as we drive through the
countryside are all true ... from Civil War stories about
General John Hunt Morgan spending his honeymoon in McMinnville
to the eccentric millionaire during the depression who financed
the local (still private) library.
After each story, I ask the passengers,
"Where did it happen?" They chuckle and answer,
Local History, and Even More Fun
beautiful waterfalls at Rock Island State Park, a dozen miles
northeast of Falcon Rest, highlight the tour.
accessed scenic overlook is near the old Great Falls Cotton
Mill building, opened in 1892 by the builder of Falcon Rest,
manufacturer Clay Faulkner.
The building hasn't been used for anything
but storage since its mill wheel was washed away in the great
1902 flood, but at six-bricks thick, it will stand for centuries
-- a testimony to Faulkner's vision.
Stop at a landscaping nursery while in McMinnville:
"The Nursery Capital of the World"
to McMinnville always comment on the many landscaping nurseries
that line every highway coming into the county. For years,
this area has been known as "the nursery capital of the
Today, there are hundreds of certified nurseries
in the county. Tour groups often add a stop at one to their
step-on tour. We've seen visitors on day trips fill the luggage
compartment of their coach with bedding plants from a local
greenhouse. In June and July, another nursery specializing
in day lilies -- with many acres of beautiful blooms -- is
a favorite addition to the tour.
Amount of extra time required for a
stop at a nursery depends on the direction the group is traveling
to or from, and which nursery is visited.
step-on tour from Falcon Rest to Rock Island Park and back,
allow 1-1/2 hours.
park is on the way to/from I-40 east (Knoxville, Crossville).
traveling from that direction can meet
the guide at the park on the way from I-40 for an early
step-on before the "main event" at Falcon Rest.
those going toward I-40 East when they leave Falcon Rest,
the guide can ride the coach as far
as the park and be dropped off there. In those cases,
the only additional time required is the 20-30 minutes spent
at the park itself.