Monday, April 18, 2011

Cades Cove and Bear Butt

River Plantation RV Park site #435
Sevierville, Tn

Many Rally attendees left on Sunday after the farewell breakfast.  The park really emptied out.  We stayed around and relaxed joining the remainder of the rv-dreamers in a campfire at Howard and Linda’s site in the evening.  It’s sad but we know that we will meet many of them on the road and stay in touch by following blogs and such.  It’s a great community of like minded people.

After saying good-bye to several more friends on Monday morning, we decided to go to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains for the afternoon.  It’s a beautiful, long relaxing ride up the mountain.  There’s a bubbling mountain river right beside the road most of the way up.  We had to pull off a couple of times to just soak it in.  We love the mountains.  It’s a Sylville kind of place.


A guy was enjoying his kayak in the cool mountain rapids.  Don’t worry.  We have no intentions of white water yakking.


We enjoyed a cone of soft-serve ice cream at the store just before entering Cades Cove.  This is a park dedicated to preserving the lifestyle of a mountain farming community from days gone by.  It is an 11 mile one way auto-tour that has about 80 buildings and several trails to enjoy.  The first building we came upon was the John Oliver Place which was built in the early 1820’s.  This shot was taken from about a quarter mile away (nice zoom).


There were many other people out enjoying this beautiful day.  The next building was the Primitive Baptist Church which was built in 1887.  All of the churches are right beside the road so I got out to walk around.  My grandparents were active in their own Primitive Baptist Church many years ago so I couldn’t help but to think of them.

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Next came the Methodist Church built in 1902 by JD McCampbell.  It was built in 115 days at a cost of $115.  If you are into genealogy, it would be interesting to check out old cemeteries like these.

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The next church is the Missionary Baptist Church.  This building dates from 1915.  It was only a small cemetery there.

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The next place that we stopped at in the loop was the Cable Mill Historic Area.  Gin was pretty exhausted so she didn’t get out of the car so I took a quick shot of some of the buildings.  It is an area devoted to show how life was lived back then.  We sure do take a lot for granted now.  Click on any picture to enlarge.

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Our next stop was at the Dan Lawson Place which was built in 1856.


This area must have been what Pigeon Forge and Sevierville looked like many years ago before it was overly commercialized.

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The next homestead was the Tipton Place.  Traffic was backing up so we didn’t know what to expect.  There were barns on one side of the road and the house and barns on the other side.


I guess the bumper to bumper traffic was about a half mile long.  Then we realized why.  A black bear was 15 feet from the road.  We slowed down like everyone else and tried to take a picture.  I didn’t want to stop entirely so this is the best shot of a bear’s butt peaking out from behind a tree.


A little further ahead, the traffic slowed a little bit because there were three white tailed deer right beside the road.  They still have thick winter fir.


After driving the Cades Cove loop, we enjoyed our ride back down to present day living.  We did have to stop at a pull-out to soak up a little more time in Sylville.  It is soo relaxing and peaceful by a mountain waterfall.

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Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.


Jessica said...

Very nice pics! Glad that you guys were able to stick around and enjoy a little more time there at the campground. It was fun to meet you at the rally! :)

Merikay said...

If you can't slow down for a bear, what can you slow down for! Nice glimpse into your day travels.

Kimberly and Jerry Peterson said...

We enjoyed our visit to Cades Cove which seems like so many years ago. We seen deer, but no bears! It was such a peaceful place!

Mike and Terri said...

I wanted to see a bear (within the safe confines of our car), but on our excursion we were only lucky enough to see a dear and some wild turkey. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful drive.

Gail and Rick said...

Great pictures. That area is so beautiful once you get out of town. Travel safely tomorrow. See you down the road.

Peggy & Gary said...

We passed you on your way to Cades Cove and we saw the same kayaker! Had fun with you two at the rally, and I know you can hardly wait to go fulltiming. We're counting with you!

Nancy and Bill said...

Thanks for the tour of Cades Cove. We rode the loop on our way to our hike at Abrams Falls, but didn't have a chance to tour the buildings.

We will be back to The is so beautiful!!

Karen and Al said...

We love Cades Cove and hope to go back someday soon. We were always lucky enough to see bears.

I'm with you on kayaking those rapids. No rapids for us either!

2.4 D Hwy said...

Looks like you had a great day. We loved it there. We've learned that when traffic stops we start looking to see what animal they are looking at. Your bear was much closer than the ones we saw. Can't wait to join you in Sylville down the road.