Friday, August 21, 2009

Cherokee and the Smokey Mountains

They claim the Smokey Mountain National Park is the most visited of all the national parks. I don't know about that, but Smokey Mountains are some of they prettiest mountains I've seen.

Their name came from the Cherokees, from the blue smokey color which usually hangs over the mountains.

As we started to hike up to Clingman's Dome, the highest point in the park, we knew we would have no view because of the fog and clouds, but we hiked it anyway.

Even after the 1/2 mile hike to the top you still have to climb the viewing tower.

Luckily it didn't start raining until after we got down from the dome. But as you see, it was raining just a little as I stood with one foot in each state. Also, just a note, the Appalachian Trail runs right through this parking lot and through the Smokey Mountains. Once again I was hoping to hike more of the trail, but it continued to rain and the hike was postponed once again.

Just one of the waterfalls throughout the park.

Cade's Cove is known for its wildlife. A valley within the Smokey Mountains, it was originally settled in the early 1800s. Now as a protected area, the wildlife know they are safe. Can you see the mother bear and her 2 cubs up in the tree?

This fellow came to check the other bears out, but the momma bear told him to 'go away'. The bears were right along side of the one way road through Cade's Cove. Traffic was backed up several blocks as the rangers halted traffic and people got out to photograph the bears. But the rangers didn't want anyone to get hurt so we couldn't get too close.

The Cade's Cove mill. It is still operating and the corn and wheat ground here is sold in the park. Because we stopped to look at the bears we got to the mill too late to see it in operation.

I think this is a strange design for a barn.

This is the mother-in-law plan back in pioneer days. This is the mother-in-law plan back in pioneer days. This is the mother-in-law plan back in pioneer days.

This is the only drivable road left of the original 5 ways to get in and out of the valley. The other 4 routes are now hiking trails only.

Another scenic, twisty road. I think they come up with the cutest names.

I don't think I would want to take my motorhome down this road.
Also while in the area we visited the Cherokee Reservation and learned more about the Trail of Tears.

Cherokee also has bears, painted and decorated.

The outdoor play we attended.

Waiting for the play to start.

Representing the 7 clans.

A war dance.

The eagle dance.

The cast takes a final bow.

1 comment:

Diana said...

Love the bear shots. That camera zooms well, huh? You guys need to come back out West and get away from the rain.