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Road Trip To Loretta Lynn's Ranch

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It was late in the day as we arrived in Buffalo, Tennessee located 65 miles west of Nashville. Our destination... Loretta Lynn's Ranch, which is 8 miles north of I-40 on Highway 13 in a little town, owned by Loretta, called Hurricane Mills.

The Ranch which is on Hurricane Mills Road is just north of a little Wildwood church on Highway 13. Be sure to clock off the miles and look for the Hurricane Mills Road sign as there will be no big arrow and sign saying THIS IS IT! Which, is apparantly what we needed as we drove right past it.

The office had closed upon arrival, however, we drove on in to take a look and there to our delight sat another family of campers, fire aglow. We were there only a few moments when another couple pulled in behind us asking the same question as we, "Where do we pay?" We late arrivals were able to pay the following morning.

The campground is open April through October and has over 200 full service hookups. The cost is $29.50 per night for water, electric and late night coyote serenades. Loretta performs at the ranch in concert several times during the year. The facilities are excellent and the campground is rated four star.

Several events are held throughout the year including talent searches and motorcross. There are tales by campers of ghosts roaming the property and Civil War soldiers being sighted building campfires. I promptly decided that I would have to see that for myself.

The next morning it was off to the Lynn family flea market, which was three miles south of the camground. Here, Loretta's oldest daufghter, Betty Lynn, ran a flea market out of what used to be an old barn on her place. Parked in front was one of the oldest Farmall tractors I had seen in actual use.

Later, back at the ranch, we purchased tickets for the tour of Loretta's Plantation Home and the recreated Butcher Holler home place and coal mine. A better tour, I've yet to see.

First, was the recreated Butcher Holler home place which can evoke some fond memories of earlier times. The trip through the coal mine was educational to say the least. Lastly, we all loaded onto a wagon for a tractor ride up the hill to the pre- Civil War Plantation. The view of and from the verandah was absolutely beautiful with its wonderful two story colonial columns.

One of the first things that we were shown outside the home were the old slave quarters and kitchen along with an entrance leading underneath the house that held previous slaves in discipline. A virtual dungeon where shackles reportedly hung from the walls.The home was occupied by Union soldiers during the Civil War and served as a hopital. I had yet to see a ghost, but by the time we reached the end of the tour, the hairs on my arms were standing upright.

Upon conclusion of the tour, my husband and daughter opted for the playground while I headed for the museum and gift shop. My favorite was the gift shop, where some of Loretta's personal items such as jewelry and blue jeans were sold, many of them autographed. I was able to scoop up a pair of Loretta's stage earrings, vintage purple drops for a mere 15.00.

Upon exiting the gift shop, my husband met me wide eyed saying "Come here." He then proceeded to show and tell me how, while he and our sweet little 4 year year old Tiara Raine had been looking at the horsies he had noticed a fire down by the creek but didn't notice any smoke. He thought it strange that time of day and walked down to where he'd seen the fire to investigate and there remained warm ashes although he had seen nobody come or go from the area. I had yet to see any haints personally, but, nonetheless we left the very next morning.

For more information call 931-296-7700 or visit www.lorettalynn.com

Karen Raine is a Texas based freelance writer whose interests include travel, art, antiques, collectibles and country music. Karen is also a songwriter and can be reached at karenskollection@aol.com

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