(smooth jazzy music) Have you ever looked out
the window of an airplane and marveled at that sea
of clouds beneath you? Well, how would you like
to have that experience without having to
take off your shoes or go through a body scan? Ed Jones found just the place
for you in Duff, Tennessee. (energetic guitar music) – [Scott] The mornings,
the clouds coming up over the valley, it’s
like an ocean below. – [Ed] A city above the clouds sounds like the stuff of dreams, and it was the dream of one man with the ironic
name of Jim McCloud. – He had a vision of this
being like rock city. Had a really good
start of something, interstate kind of
put that to sleep. – [Ed] Scott Field’s
father, Paul, would reawaken that dream. – My father fell
in love with it, said, you know, this would
be a great investment, used a family retreat
from the late ’80s until about 2006, at
which point he said, “you know, I think we
need to share the place. We should build a restaurant.” But my dad, like Jim McCloud, this became the love
affair of his life. We’re carrying on
the family tradition, living my dad’s dream. – [Ed] As the owner
of McCloud Mountain Restaurant and Lodge,
Scott is now the steward of that dream, and is eager
to share it with others, beginning with the
breathtaking view nearly 3000 feet above
the valley below. – From the far east, which
is the furthest you can see, you’re seeing just over
Cumberland Gap and Middlesboro. On a very clear day you
can see the Smokies, which are about 65
miles in the distance. You can see Clingmans Dome. You look all down
the Cumberlands to
the left and right. We also sit in the middle
of the Cumberland Trail. The Cumberland Trail
is a planned trail that they hope to open
in the next decade and it comes right
down our main road. (upbeat music) – [Ed] The cliff-side
view is thrilling, and so is the trip up
and down the mountain. – [Scott] We always recommend putting it in first gear
on some of the steep ones. It is a serpentine road
and hopefully you got a shot of the sign
coming up the hill with the squiggly line. – [Ed] All those twists
turns can certainly build up an appetite,
which restaurant and lodge manager Charles
Wallace can remedy. – We really have a
nice diverse menu with a little bit of
something for everybody. We really consider ourself
destination dining, so you really want to make
sure that everybody comes up and finds something
they care for. Our steaks are
really incredible. We’re really known
for our barbecue. It’s a Tennessee-style barbecue. We have a smoker
right out on the back, so everything is
smoked here in-house. We do have burgers. We do have a nice
selection of salads. We’re doing a nice
duck breast salad, just a little bit of
twist to the traditional. – Are you guys doing all right? How is everything? – Everything’s great! – Wonderful. Thank you for coming
to the mountain. – [Ed] If the spectacular
view from the main dining room isn’t awe-inspiring enough,
perhaps you’d prefer a private table
dangling off the cliff. – The overlook was the original
concept of the restaurant. Dad wanted to cantilever
the whole thing off the edge of the mountain. A lot of people would
not have seen that, but he kept that ideal. He wanted to put you
out over the edge. Cantilever dining
room came along about a year and a
half to two years after we opened the restaurant and it does give an
opportunity to walk out and look down on the
elevation you’re truly at. – [Ed] If you’d rather have
your feet on the ground, but nothing above you, try the – [Charles] Sky deck, which
is gonna be a lot of fun. Wide open, straight
outside dining. You’re sitting on
top of the world. It’s just gonna be a
little limited menu. We’re gonna be working
out of that smoker, have a little bit more
limited menu than in here, but it’s gonna be
a fantastic venue for just something
really different. – [Ed] For those looking to
spend more time on the mountain, there are 11 lovely
lodges available. – [Scott] They’re
all king suites. Each of the rooms you walk
into a master bedroom, has a little kitchenette
off to the side, full-size refrigerator,
microwave, and a closet. As you walk around you have
a 50-inch TV on the wall, which you’re on top of the
mountain with a view like this, you won’t spend much
time watching that. Very private deck outside
of the master bedroom, privacy screens on each side. You would have to go out of
your way to see anybody else. As you walk around the corner, we do have a jetted tub, big
custom double-bowl vanity. Walk into the bathroom,
everything is custom tiled. Just did everything
the best touches that we could come up with, hopefully better than
the comforts of home. (upbeat music) – [Ed] Luxury lodging,
cliff-side dining, but wait, there’s more! – One of the biggest
questions I get is what is there to
do when I get there if I spend a few days. The first thing to do
is not fight crowds. We’re close to the Smokies, but you know, it’s quiet here. Sit back, read a book. We’ve got miles
of hiking trails. We’ve got beautiful rock
formations, waterfalls. It’s a place to get
away from all that. We have incredible sights. Just the view here is amazing, and that’s just the
south-facing side. The north-facing side of
the mountain is all nature. You see very few homes,
very little of anything. The Chimney rocks
that are here on site are one of our biggest hits, the 150 chimneys standing
up to 250 feet high. We’ve built a bridge
out over top of them so everybody can get
out and enjoy them. The state of Tennessee purchased that plot of land from
us about three years ago. They are being integrated
into the Cumberland Trail, so it’s a great spot if
you’re really looking for something unique
for your family. With the lodge, which is really
nice for the anniversaries. You can stay and if
you’re from Knoxville or Nashville or wherever,
come up and stay the weekend, have your family
come up and visit, have a nice lunch,
dinner, you know. Any kind of event like
that works real well. – [Ed] So, if you’re looking
for an out of this world, well, above this
world experience, your dream could be waiting
just above the clouds.