Vacation 2014: Cades Cove

Sunday morning, we headed to Cades Cove, one of the most popular areas in the park.   It is the place you are most likely to see wildlife and we saw a mama bear with three cubs and a deer while there.   We were so excited to see the bears, especially as part of a large crowd which seems the safest place to be when in the vicinity of a mama bear with cubs!   The Cherokee hunted and fished here and settlers began building in the early nineteenth century.  

There is an 11-mile loop road to drive along with stops along the way.   You can tour settlers' cabins, smokehouses, blacksmith shops, and mills.   One night we watched a program about the area on the local travel information channel and we saw interviews with people who grew up on the land that became part of the national park.   It was beautiful to hear how happy they were that the beauty of the land has been preserved, although it was a hard decision for their families to sell their land to the park.   Some of the residents were allowed to sell, but stay on their farms until their deaths.   It makes the gift of these pristine and preserved areas all the more special and a real treasure for us when we visit.












 Mama bear came out of the woods to check things out before returning with her cubs to cross the field.







The construction of the cabin was beautiful and so well-done.   The children were able to climb the steps inside and see a sleeping loft like those described in Little House on the Prairie.   I was excited about that, too.





Imagine this as your view from your home:



I liked feeling a part of the community of visitors who have visited this park for decades.













It's always easy to see how the Smoky Mountains have their name, with their characteristic blue haze.





The blacksmiths' demonstration was interesting and it was surprisingly cooler in the shop than we expected.








Built to last.




Power source for the mill:


















Aunt Becky's Cabin: she was amazing.   She lived there until the 1940s, operating a store and a boarding house.











































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