Saturday, 5 July 2014

Vacation 2014: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park & Lookout Mountain

One last stamp for the kids' National Parks Passports as we headed home: Chattanooga.   At the top of Lookout Mountain is the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.   We arrived in late afternoon, right before a rain storm.   Ah, lovely, beautiful rain!   The park is small, but beautiful.   It is more of a commemorative park than educational, but it is worth the tour.   There is a great visitors center.   I held on tight to the hands of Clare and Thomas because it is a long drop from the top of this mountain, with no happy ending, surely.   People have homes where their backyard just drops off.   I still get a little queasy looking at the pictures.   We did not examine any of the on-the-edge exhibits.   I am so thankful that other than the rain pouring down as we were going to the car, it was an uneventful trip!

People walk down those steps!   No way; the view was fine from above!

Yes, that rock in the middle just juts out over the edge of the mountain with NO guardrail so you would just fall to your death.   I had a real problem with this area!

Another path we didn't take

Vacation 2014: Gatlinburg, TN, the Donut Tour?

This is the way we entered downtown from our hotel.  It's the entrance to The Village, a shopping center made up of quaint shops and eateries.


View leaving Gatlinburg to head to the national park


There was a Krispy Kreme in Pigeon Forge!   Worth a drive for dessert:)







Vacation 2014: Cherokee Connection

Wilma Mankiller when she was Chief
My government card, issued by the Department of the Interior, states that I am 1/256 Cherokee.   That is what family members have proven.   It is said I have native ancestry on my father's side, also.   I have Cherokee and Scots-Irish roots in Tennessee.   Both of my parents were born and raised in northeastern Oklahoma and Cherokee history was of great interest to my mother.   She would talk about how interesting it was to learn about all the tribes in Oklahoma history class.   As soon as my Aunt Betty had done genealogical research, my mother applied for our Indian cards.   She also joined the tribe.   Wilma Mankiller, pictured above was Chief at that time.
Our Cherokee ancestor, and my ___th grandmother is Nanyehi, or Nancy Ward.   She was a Beloved Woman of the Cherokee; she was able to sit on councils with the Chief and was credited with sparing the lives of several people with just her word.  
While in North Carolina, we visited the Cherokee Eastern Band reservation where we toured the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.   It is a very good museum.   The children were engaged by the displays and it was just the right size for a family tour.   As we left Gatlinburg, we travelled back through Benton, Tennessee so we could visit Nancy Ward's gravesite and state park.   It is a beautiful hilltop resting place for this amazing woman.   My mother would have loved our entire trip, but especially these stops.   I wanted to make sure we visited Nancy Ward's grave because Mama always wanted to visit.   I guess this means we did visit a gravesite on this trip.


There are groups of Ward's descendants who meet regularly.   Back in the 1990s, Mama was watching an interview on the old Nashville Network (I think it was called).   The person being interviewed was Becky Hobbs, a singer/songwriter.   She mentioned her Cherokee ancestry and her five-times great grandmother, Nancy Ward.   Mama sent her a letter and Hobbs responded, glad to have found another cousin.



On our last day in Tennessee, we visited Nancy Ward's gravesite and park near Benton, Tennessee.

Marker at entrance to Nancy Ward Gravesite and Park

Parking area and path leading to gravesite

Beautiful views from the hilltop

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