Ever see anything like this?
|See: Exodus 20:2-17|
Neither had I until this week. The weather forecast for the week showed rain, rain, rain, except for Monday. So, I took the day and went to a pretty neat place up near Murphy North Carolina.
That's where I took the photo above. The gigantic Ten Commandments are on a hillside at a place called Fields of the Wood Bible Park. All you have to do is go in and look around. It is free for the asking. (More about that later.)
The place covers some 210 acres, and includes dozens of concrete markers with information and inspiration from the Bible. It is almost as though you are walking through that precious book as you explore here. The place is a ministry of: the Church of God of Prophecy in Cleveland Tennessee.
I found out about it way back in October of 2011 on the Carolina Rider Forum. The tall guy who used to post quite a bit there, Stretch, had set it as a tag, but nobody went after it for some reason.
Well, I finally took the time to go there. Better late than never, I'd say.
It is 256 miles round trip, without diversions. With diversions, it can be as long as your hind end can stand your saddle, since there are some nice curvy roads there and about.
[So. How do you get there, Bucky?]
I took the most direct route, using Harley-Davidson Ride Planner. (That's the website that works so much better than Google Maps and the one that downloads your custom route directly to your GPS if you want it to.) I wrote about how it works back in April or 2015.
Here is the route:
|Click here for a Bing interactive map|
Major towns and road names starting in Easley, SC, on the right side of the map:
- US-123 S, 34.0 mi
- Clemson, SC
- Seneca, SC
- Westminster, SC
- Brasstown, SC
- US-76 W, 25.6 mi
- Long Creek, SC
- Enter Georgia
- Clayton, GA
- US-23/US-441/US-76, 0.3 mi
- US-76 W, 31.2 mi
- Macedonia, GA
- Hiawassee, GA
- Hwy 17 N/GA-515 E, 1.1 mi
- Enter North Carolina
- Hayesville, NC
- NC-69 N, 3.5 mi
- US-64 W, 13.5 mi
- Murphy, NC
- US-129 S/US-19 S/US-64 W/US-74 W, 8.0 mi
- NC-294 W, 9.9 mi
Arrive at Fields of the Wood, 10000 NC-294, Murphy, NC, 28906
There are some nice sweeping curves on the road between Brasstown and Clayton and between Clayton and Macedonia. There are also some between Hayesville and Murphy. The rest of the roads are mostly less challenging. There were almost no areas of less-than-excellent pavement that I saw, and the traffic was light.
And remember that Deal's Gap, and the Tail of the Dragon are only about 58 miles from Murphy on this route.
[What else can I see there at Fields of the Wood?]
Well, here is the entrance:
And the arch just beyond it:
The arch and the road beyond it:
These things can also be found:
- ClimbTen Commandments Mountain
- ExperienceThe All Nations Cross, a giant cross with flags of the nations of the earth flying from flagpoles on its perimeter
- MountainPrayer Chapel
- SeeOr Get Baptized In The Baptismal Pool
- SeeGolgotha the rocky place where Jesus was crucified, having the appearance of a skull
- GoInside Jesus' Tomb where He was buried for three days before arising from the dead
- VisitThe Psalms Of Praise
- HikeThe Nature Trails
- ClimbTo The Top and Pray Atop Prayer Mountain where you can read monuments all along it with Bible passages pertinent to many of life's struggles and situations
- DeliciousBurger Mountain Cafe
- HiddenTreasures Gift Shop
- ViewEach Picnic Area
- ViewThe Duck Pond
At the top of the Ten Commandments mountain, is a 30 foot tall open Bible.
It is open to the passage in Matthew 22:37-39, where Jesus replied [to an expert of the law who was trying to trick him, asking, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"]: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." A lot of people don't know that there are many more than ten commandments, and these are two of them.
A closer view of the open Bible:
View from the top of Prayer Mountain, looking through the trees, and across the valley at the Ten Commandments:
It is quite a hike to the top of either Prayer Mountain or the Ten Commandments, but there is a road to get to the top in each case, too.
View from the top of the Ten Commandments, showing Golgotha with the three crosses in the center, the baptismal pool at far left, and Jesus' tomb between the two:
Here is a view from the same vantage point, showing Prayer Mountain just left of center, Psalms of Praise in the center, and a light plane in its shelter at the left:
The plane was part of a fleet of planes that was used from the 1940s, possibly through the 1960s to distribute Gospel tracts. It was called the White Angel Fleet, and was based on the airstrip at the site.
Here is an aerial drone tour that takes you through some of the exhibits (without the climbing):
By the way, the free entry -- for the asking -- has some great parallels to the only way you can get to heaven and live forever after you die and leave this earth. You must believe in your heart of hearts what the following words of the salvation prayer say:
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.It is important to note that you don't have to work your way to heaven. All you have to do is sincerely believe the words above -- it is free for the asking! Once you do that, then you will want to do good works for others as a result.
I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.
You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.
Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.
Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
As I am winding down my visit, I notice that the Tennessee state line is a little less than four miles away to the west. I have only ridden in three states so far -- South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia -- so going there would increase my state count by a whopping 33 percent. I go for it, but I would later regret taking the extra time to dash over there and to try out a few very curvy roads nearby.
Coming back from Tennessee, it starts sprinkling. Then it starts to rain. Then it starts to rain hard. Then it starts to pour.
Poor Bucky doesn't have his rainsuit along, either. There is no choice but to continue. Since I am heading east, I should eventually ride out of it, but it takes an hour and a half to do so. That's why they call them scattered showers, I believe. I dry out mostly by the time I pull into my garage.
All together, with my little side excursions, I have ridden 302 miles, my longest single-day ride so far. Surprisingly, I am not all that tired, even after riding in the rain. (Maybe the rain invigorated me. Who knows?) I am a little stiff in the legs the next day, but not bad for an old guy.
I'll tell you about the other curvy roads in a future posting. Don't miss it.