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  • Writer's pictureJenny Lynn Keller

An Unusual Trip

I went to prison yesterday. No joke. Walked inside the buildings, including solitary confinement. Ate lunch and escaped without anyone chasing me. You can do the same by visiting Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee. Operated from 1896 until 2009, the prison sets at the base of the Cumberland Mountains’ rocky cliffs. Infamously nicknamed the End of the Line, the isolated area and menacing facilities live up to its reputation. Yesterday’s gray clouds hovering over the ridge tops and covering the hollow with a heavy mist added to the gloomy feeling experienced by everyone in my group. Brushy Mountain is an educational place to visit, but nowhere I want to reside.

Prison tours are available Thursday through Sunday from April through November. Eat a delicious lunch at Warden’s Table Restaurant and sample products from the Brushy Mountain Distillery if you’re super thirsty and legal age. Leaf color in the area is gorgeous this time of year, so checkout their website and go to prison for a day.

We ate pork BBQ, baked beans, and fantastic vinegar cole slaw during our prison visit. What’s your preferred BBQ sauce—spicy, sweet, mustard, brown sugar vinegar, your own concoction?

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