Geology Gathering: RMSP offers program delving into history of area

Published 11:33 am Friday, August 19, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                           Miller, right, showcases one of the rocks that was used at the campground fire at RMSP.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Miller, right, showcases one of the rocks that was used at the campground fire at RMSP.

With over 100 years worth of history literally ingrained in the Roan Mountain community, officials with Roan Mountain State Park recently had the opportunity to showcase the environment to the public.
During a busy Thursday at the campground, Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Will Miller hosted the “Geology of the Roan” to showcase the different minerals and materials located at the park, and in Roan Mountain.
“Essentially, today’s program was one of our different scheduled interpretive programs that Roan Mountain State Park offers,” Miller said. “Today’s program, we are talking about the geology of Roan Mountain State Park. This is important not only for the natural history, but also for cultural history. Our goal is to link those two histories together.”
Miller discussed the various rocks that are included in the area, including Carolina Nice, Roan Nice and Cranberry Nice. The ranger added that the Roan-type of rock can be seen once entering the town of Roan Mountain.
Mining, along with logging and other activities to secure natural resource, was a prevalent endeavor in the community, Miller added, with the Northeast Tennessee/North Carolina border seeing a load of work be operated out of various mineshafts.
“Geology on the Roan” was just one of the various events on tap for Roan Mountain State Park on Thursday.
“We want our guests to have the meaningful connections to the park,” Miller added about the programs. “We want their stay to mean that much more.”
And for those that missed out on the fun, the ranger added there is much to take part in for the rest of the week.
“We’ve got lots of events coming up the rest of the week,” Miller said. “We always try to schedule Thursday, Friday and Saturday for park guests to take part in. Friday we have a salamander safari and tree identification program. We’re also doing a creek walk and, of course, our summer concert series is a huge draw.
“Saturday, we always try to offer a campfire,” he continued. “We definitely encourage everyone to come out and enjoy what the park has to offer.”
Miller added that the programs at Roan Mountain State Park will be coming to a close on Sunday, Sept. 4, but interested attendees will have their fill on different activities going on.
The remainder of this week’s schedule includes:
10 a.m. – Salamander Safari – Join Kyle as we learn about the habitat and biology of salamanders in East Tennessee. Come prepared for a short hike as we search for these interesting amphibians. Meet at the Camp Store.
12 p.m. – ID The Tree – Learn to identify some common trees as we take an easy walk around the campground. Discover just how diverse and important our trees are in the Southern Appalachian forests, and maybe learn a bit about the trees in your own backyard. Meet Will at the Camp Store.
2 p.m. – BRRR! That’s Cold! – Come cool off with this exciting water game and learn about the different effects that water can have on our bodies. Meet Kyle at the Camp Store and be prepared to get wet.
4 p.m. – Creek Walk – Come cool off in the Doe River as we learn about the stream ecology and discover some aquatic life forms in their natural habitat. You may be surprised at what we find! Wear closed-toe shoes and be prepared to get in the water. Meet Will at Camp Store.
7:30 p.m. – Summer Concert Series – Thistle Dew: This Roan Mountain group plays a unique blend of traditional Appalachian and Celtic music which they have dubbed “Celta-Lachian”. This performance is sure to add some local flavor to your visit. 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Park Amphitheater. Concerts will be relocated to Picnic Shelter 3 in the campground in case of bad weather. Free admission and donations are accepted.
9 p.m. – Fire Starting Tips – Come learn several different techniques to start a fire and keep it going. We will build a fire using primitive tools and make a useful tool for starting a fire. Meet Will at the Campground Fire Ring.
10 a.m. – Trail Safety: Poison Ivy – If you like to play outdoors, you need to come to this program. Don’t wait and find out the hard way just what this plant looks like and what it can do to your skin. Come learn how to properly identify this pesky plant, as well as tips for avoiding and treating an itchy outbreak. Meet Will at the Camp Store.
11:30 a.m. – Old-Time Games – Did children in the early Appalachian time period have TV, video games, and cell phones to entertain themselves? No, they did not. Instead, they had various old-time games to play during their free time. Meet Kyle at the Miller Farmstead to go back in time.
12 p.m. – Afternoons at the Farmstead: Thistle Dew – Get a taste of the unique mountain flavor known as “Celta-lachian” music. This blend of Celtic and traditional Appalachian sounds is in perfect harmony with the beautiful mountain scenery of the Miller Farmstead. Noon to 2 p.m. at the Farmstead. The concert is free admission but donations are accepted.
2 p.m. – Aliens Among Us – We have a problem. Non-native species are invading our natural landscapes. Come learn about this problem we are facing and what is being done to find a solution. We will seek out some of these invaders and then play a fun game to finish off our quest. Meet Will at the Camp Store.
4 p.m. – Tomahawk Throwing – Be sure to come to this exciting program where you will get a chance to try your hand at throwing a real tomahawk. Learn the history behind this important tool of the frontier. Meet Kyle at the Playground across from the Camp Store.
7:30 p.m. – Summer Concert Series: The Trail Blazer Cloggers – This high-energy dance team will keep you moving to the beat. Come enjoy this showcase of an Appalachian tradition with a modern twist. 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Park Amphitheater. Concerts will be relocated to Picnic Shelter 3 in the campground in case of bad weather. The concert is free admission but donations are accepted.
9 p.m. – Campground Campfire – Meet Kyle at the Campground Fire Ring for some local ghost stories, tall tales and s’mores. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight for heading back to your campsite after dark.
10 a.m. – The Art of the Roan – Do you like to draw? Inspire your inner artist and draw your favorite features of Roan Mountain. Art supplies will be provided, but you will need to supply the creativity. Meet Kyle at the Camp Store. All ages are welcome.
12 p.m. – Slithering Snakes – Meet and greet some of the park’s reptile residents, and learn the truth about these often misunderstood creatures. Meet Will at the Visitor’s Center.
Programs offered by the park are free of charge but donations are encouraged to allow the park to continue its activities. For more information, visit the or check out the park’s Facebook page. Individuals can also call 423-772-0190.

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