A Legendary Place:
I've looked at a lot of mountain land. Some of it
close to town where you felt close to town, and some far out where the
nearest McDonald's was 40 miles away. Big Bear Crossing is the
perfect mix, out in the boondocks but not far away. 28 miles to Bristol and 27
miles to the nearest ski resort. The nearest McDonald's? Six
miles. The nearest large supermarket? Twelve miles.
And then, there's the legend. I drove up U.S.
Highway 19 to Tiger Creek Road and turned right onto the road.
Tiger Creek Road is well maintained and paved. I drove about
two miles, passed a small country church and several country homes.
The road is country, but it is neat and clean. The entry for Big
Bear Crossing is on the left, across the road from a little pullover
spot for the Whitehead cemetery.
I pulled into the pullover to visit the cemetery.
A short hike, across a bridge over Tiger Creek, and up a small hill is
the Whitehead Cemetery where the graves of the legendary James "Tiger"
Whitehead, his wife and other Whiteheads are located. I had done
some research on Tiger Whitehead, for whom the creek, road and valley
were named. I would like to give credit to whomever penned the
following story but I haven't discovered the writer. If you know,
please contact Information@BigBearCrossing.com.
Click to read
The Legend of Tiger Whitehead
Tiger Creek is one of those roaring mountain streams you
imagine. A natural trout stream that mostly parallels the road.
The road crosses the creek just before you get to Big Bear Crossing.
One of the owners of Big Bear Crossing also owns a stretch of land
across the road along the creek and you can probably make arrangements
to fish. But just seeing and hearing it is a pleasant enough
Mountains, streams and a real legend in one place.
Then I visited Big Bear Crossing, walked along the trickling brook that
dissects the property, wandered the hills and viewed the vistas.
I didn't want to leave but it was time to head back to town for the
night so I punched my return trip to Elizabethton into the GPS.
The trip was 12 miles; to restaurants, grocery stores and medical
centers. It was hard to believe I was in the serenity, peace and
quiet of the mountains, but only 12 miles from the Tri-Cities area with
all the amenities of a big city and 31 miles from the Tri-Cities
Regional airport. I was sold. You will be too.
This winter I plan to sit on my front porch, drink
coffee, listen to the brook and look out over the mountains. Maybe
I will see one of those famous Smoky Mountain black bears this place is
named after. One fellow up here claims there are 10 or so roaming
this area and has given them all names. I will have my cell phone
and a high speed internet connection to let you and my friends know if I
see one. On the other hand, this place is known for its legends