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2004-06-06, Backbone Rock Tunnel

Russ and Linda ride through Backbone Rock Tunnel
Russ and his sister, Linda, ride through Backbone Rock Tunnel
near Sutherland at the northeastern tip of Tennessee.

The tunnel was created in 1901 to accomodate a train to haul timber
to market. Once the blasting was complete, the tunnel wasn't quite
tall enough for the steam engine's smokestack, so a notch was chiseled
out by hand. Maybe this is the origin of the phrase "top-notch".

The lumber operation closed in 1912. Today, Tennessee Highway 133
passes through the tunnel. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
developed the area for picnicing, fishing, camping, and hiking, and it's
now a part of the Cherokee National Forest.

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