March Madness


Potted Pansies

Rainy day in the mountains means spring time is almost here!  We’ve had enough snow to last  until 2016!  But it was beautiful to look at….and some exceptional snow sculptures were made in the area.  Unfortunately….I didn’t get any photos!

But now it’s time to look for pansies for the window boxes and deck pots.  Always makes the Inn look so festive.  I get my flowers from nearby Wintergreen Farm which has healthy Tennessee grown flowers and plants.   Time for a trip to their greenhouses!

But what I really want to tell you about is our March Madness Special! Pay for two nights before March 31, 2015 and then you can use that credit any time before the end of the year except for special events, holidays and October.  So instead of paying $400.00 per two night visit, you only pay $300.00 plus tax.  That’s a very nice savings!  So give us a call at 423-768-2446 to reserve or book on-line if you know when you’d like to come.

Remember, this offer is only good until March 31, 2015!  Don’t delay, call today!  423-768-2446.

Looking forward to sharing the magic of the mountains with you.

Bubble Bathw

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How To Cook a Wolf

How To Cook A Wolf

Back in 1942 when food supplies were beginning to be limited and people were trying to make do with less, a famous cookbook author, M.K. Fisher wrote a wonderful cookbook called How To Cook A Wolf.  My mother, NOT a chef, barely even a cook, purchased the book to see how she might make our food ration stamps go further.

Today, I enjoy reading the Table of Contents before even checking the recipes:

I.How to be sage without hemlock
II. How to catch the wolf
III. How to distribute your virtue
IV. How to boil water
V. How to greet the spring
VI.How not to boil an egg

And the list goes on till XXI – How to practice true economy

The book not only contains recipes for meals like Turkish Hash, but also how to make Vodka.  The one recipe my mother used most was for hard sauce.   Mother didn’t make pies, but she did make Apple Brown Betty and the hard sauce made it seem extra special.  We often had it on Sunday dinner as a treat.

Hard Sauce
¼ cup butter (or vegetable shortening, I hate to admit)   ED NOTE:  I remember squeezing the margarine packages to get the “butter color”
½ cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Rum (if you like it

Beat until very fluffy.  (Add ¼ cup chopped nits if desired.) ED NOTE: We never had nuts

Chill in a bowl and serve with hot gingerbread or any other hot cake….or as we did Apple Brown Betty


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Valentine’s Special Weekend

lazy bearLike the bear, maybe you’ll go over the  mountain and wonder what you will find?

Valentine’s Weekend special things are happening at the Inn….want to know how to be part of the festivities?  Give us a call or check our website and there, right on the first page is all the information you will need to make your reservation for a memorable special getaway.

As soon as you drive up the mountain you know you’re in for a treat!  Who knows…if you are lucky you’ll be snowed in on Sunday and have to call your boss to tell him you won’t be at work on Monday!  Only if you want to, of course.

Better call right away because there are only 2 rooms left for Valentine’s weekend,  423-768-2446.

Can’t get away that weekend?  Well, we are offering Sweetheart Specials all month long so check you calendar and give us a call,  We’ll have the candles round the whirlpool tub waiting for you,.

Looking forward to sharing the magic of the mountains with you next weekend,

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Valentine’s Romance

February is here in less than 12 hours so it’s time to think about what you will do for your sweetheart this month.

  • A romantic getaway in the mountains?  Of course!
  • A romantic candlelight dinner? Of course!
  • A whirlpool tub with candles and champagne?  Of course!
  • One perfect red rose?  Of course!
  • Bottomless cookie jar filled with chocolate chip cookies?  Of course!

Now that you have an idea of what you want for this special romantic getaway, where will you find everything you are looking for?

  •  The Iron Mountain Inn B&B in Butler, TN, of course!

So give the Inn a call to reserve your room and make your dinner reservations before there are no rooms left!

  • 423-768-2446 is the number to call?  Of course!

Looking forward to sharing the magic of the mountains with you and your sweetheart in February…..especially the 13th and 14th!

A great start to Valentine's breakfast

Valentine’s Trifle

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Watauga Lake in winter

Spring, summer and fall are when most people come to NorthEast Tennessee to enjoy our mountains, streams and Watauga Lake.  But winter is a spectacular time on the Lake…no one else, well, maybe a fisherman or two, but not many boats and no water skiers!

Watauga Lake is a dammed up river, the Watauga River which comes down from the Blue Ridge Mountains and is joined by thousands of small streams, rivers and creeks flowing out of the Cherokee Forest mountains.

In 1948 the gates were closed on the dam and the Watauga River backed up over the town of Butler and other small communities along the shore and became Watauga Lake, over 6000 acres of beautiful pristine water.  Contrary to often-repeated but unsupported claims, Watauga is not the third cleanest lake in the USA. Watauga Lake’s ecological health is rated “good” by the TVA – its third highest recorded rating to date.  And 80% of the shoreline is part of the Cherokee National Forest and cannot be built on creating a wonderful home for bald eagles, red tail hawks and many other birds.

Fishing is allowed year round and the lake and streams are also stocked periodically throughout the year from the fish hatchery in Erwin, TN.  Walleye, trout, bass, carp and so many more types of fish are waiting for you.

Bring your own boat and launch from one of various launch areas – some require a fee, some are free.  There are often days during the winter when it is warm enough to go for a ride on Watauga even in February or March.  But better get back in before the sun sinks behind Iron Mountain or you’ll get chilly very quickly.

lake shoreline

Watauga Lake shoreline

Walking along the shore when the lake is down – let down by the Tennessee Valley Authority in winter about 30′ – the shoreline is revealed.  It’s quite amazing what a short walk along the shore will discover!

Come share the magic of the mountains and Watauga Lake with us at the Iron Mountain Inn B&B or Creekside Chalet.

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Valentine’s Weekend….and Friday the 13th…..

A great start to Valentine's breakfast

Valentine’s Trifle

The Iron Mountain Inn B&B is planning a very special romantic getaway over the weekend of February 13 and 14 and even unto the 15th!

No bad luck here on Friday the 13th – in fact, we think you will be very lucky to be part of the festivities on this weekend when you join us.  Limited number of rooms…we only have 3 left.

And what, you ask is planned?

Two nights in your choice of available rooms.
Candles and bubble bath for your whirlpool “spooning” tub.
Two full breakfasts served overlooking the mountains surrounding you.
One perfect red rose in a bud vase to take home.
Cheese and fruit platter.
Complimentary champagne or sparkling cider in “take home” flutes.
Bottomless cookie jar filled with chocolate chip cookies (gluten free available).
Romance on a budge… $435 plus tax.
Add a third night for only $125 more.
Add a candlelight dinner for only $25 per person more plus tax.

Call 1-423-768-2446 to Reserve Your Romantic Valentine’s Getaway Special.

Bubble Bath

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Hiking on a Winter Day

When I first cleared the trail and hiked it regularly, it took me 45 minutes.  Had a guest who did it in 18 minutes, but I didn’t time him!  Today is took me almost an hour and a half – that’s what happens when you get a little older and very lazy!  Time to turn back one of those clocks and start walking/hiking/running – whatever it takes to get the legs in shape again.

But what a beautiful day!  Warm, sunny, absolutely bright blue sky, not a breath of wind or bird song!  Just my heavy breathing from climbing up the mountain.  Even stopped a couple of times to rest on an old stump.  But what views from the ridge!  I could see all the way into North Carolina and Virginia – hard to see this view in summer when the trees are covered with leaves.  Which is why I like hiking at this time of year when the weather cooperates.

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Jim Burton’s Chicken Salad

There were four widowers when I first met them, now there are three.  Jim, Bill and Don go out to eat every evening, and depending on which day of week it is, once you get to know them you know where to find them: Tuesday at Fatz, Wednesday at Pizza Inn,  Thursday at Beef O’Bradys, etc.  Just don’t look for them after 6:00 p.m. as they start arriving for dinner about 4:30 or 5:00.

Jim, who gave me this recipe, is still cooking and sharing his very delicious recipes with me and other friends as he doesn’t go out as often due to his health.


2             Cans chicken breast (Sam’s Club has good ones)
4             Hard boiled eggs
2             TBL Hellman’s mayonnaise (or more to taste)
2             TBL Duke brand sandwich relish
2             TBL JFG or other sandwich spread
2             TBL Mt. Olive sweet pickle cubes – chopped
Chopped green onions to taste

Drain chicken put into a bowl.  Chop well
Peel and chop eggs.  Add to bowl
Add other ingredients and mix well

Serves 4-6   people

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do,

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Doe Mountain Recreational Area in Johnson County, TN

View from Iron Mountain Inn B&B

Red sunset reflecting on Doe Mountain TN

The valley formed by the Watauga River was known for hundreds of years by the local Native Americans for its fertile soil and clear abundant water sources.  Legend has it when Daniel Boone stopped in this fertile valley he shot a doe for food and so named the valley Doe Valley and the creek where he quenched his thirst became Doe Creek.  Today it still provides water and fishing for the local inhabitants.

Reaching over 3000′ high on one side of the Watauga River was a mountain soon to be known as Doe Mountain. For many years this 8600 acre mountain was used as a wildlife management area as well as a place for the local hunters of Johnson County to hunt deer, turkey, and bear.  In about 2006 it was sold to a developer who planned to turn it into high end homes on secluded lots, build a large 20 acre pond for fishing and there was even talk about making a golf course on the mountain.

Then the recession arrived and the market fell out for second homes, especially high end ones and the developer went bankrupt.  Rumor had it that he had turned down $35M for the property a few months before the bottom dropped out.  Oops!
There the mountain sat.  Not bringing any tax income to the county which could have used it, not being used for hunting, hiking or anything else due to insurance concerns,  just sitting there waiting for someone to buy it from the bank.  Along came a timber company which offered the bank $1.5M with the intention of clear cutting the mountain.  ARGH!
Although this is a protected quarry, this is what the mountain might look like once all the trees were cut down and the stumps removed. Quarry shooting Luckily our county Mayor, Larry Potter, was not going to let this happen to an important natural resource right in the center of the county.
And so he began to search for funding to purchase the mountain and save it from destruction. Soon the Nature Conservancy became involved and agreed to purchase the mountain with the stipulation that the State of Tennessee would purchase the mountain from the Nature Conservancy and create a new entity, a Recreational Area which is not a state park to be run by a Board of Directors.
After many hours of hard work by many diverse groups of citizens working together, the mountain was saved. Now it is well on its way to becoming an area for outdoor enthusiasts from hiking to ATV riders; from mountain bikers to horseback riders; from recreational bike riders to walkers in a rehabilitation program.
Hard work by a dedicated group of volunteers, grant writers and the working together by a diverse group of people will soon bring the dream of those involved to reality.  This beautiful mountain has been saved for many future generations.
Come, share the magic of the mountain with us.  In every season a reason to visit Northeastern Tennessee.
Thank you volunteers!
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Summer has Begun…Lots Happening in the Butler Mountains this year

The Creekside Chalet is Imagejust waiting for you to come and explore the trails – one to the top of the mountain where you will find the Appalachian Trail; one circling the property for 2 miles and then how about making a new one!  We’ll supply chain saw and clippers!  There are also a couple which need some maintainence and you are welcome to work on those as well,

Gated wrap around deck contains large dogs and small children so mom and dad can enjoy relaxing and not having the chase either 2 or 4 footed children.  Good vacation!

Lots to do in the surrounding area: hike, bike the Virginia Creeper Trail, swim, fish and boat in beautiful Wataua Lake, take scenic drives, explore country stores and antique shops, learn about the early American history, follow Daniel Boone’s path and so much more.

Come share the magic of the mountains here in Butler, TN.  Book your stay right on line through our website:

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