Friday, July 8, 2011

Vā’kā: Cades Cove Tour

As we entered the flat valley of Cades Cove, Psalm 46:10 was all I could think of:

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

We love to visit the Great Smokey Mountains, but this particular cove is one of the most inspiring natural treasures that I have ever had the joy of seeing.  This was my first trip and one I’m not likely to forget!

An 11-mile, one way loop road takes you back in time to see how for hundreds of years people lived in this majestic cove.  There are 17 stops along the loop road where you can stop and visit, or just drive through and enjoy the scenery and wildlife.

Okay, so I KNOW I am not cutout to have lived in the 1800s, but I do honestly believe that being surrounded by such beauty could offset the hardships of no running water, electricity, air conditioning, Internet, DVR, Kindles… (okay almost, but definitely I could have done without phones). 

Alrighty, so the park ranger suggested walking would be a wonderful way to enjoy all the pleasures of Cades Cove, but as you probably guessed, that was a no-go for Melissa Sands.  Nor the bicycle option (come on now, who in their right mind would want to ride a bicycle in the mountains, especially when they have to put up such signs).


The Methodist Church was built for $115 in 115 days in 1902.  So, that was some mighty fine carpentry work; especially when you consider our house took over 150 days to build with all of today’s machinery (with a little research I also found out $1250.00 in the year 2010 has the same "purchase power" as $115 in the year 1920).  It was truly amazing to realize that there were four churches (Primitive Baptist, Methodist, Hopewell Methodist, and Missionary Baptist) in such a small community; mainly because of being expelled from one church or differing of opinions on the Civil War.IMG_3729IMG_3732

Can you see Trace as a preacher as opposed to law enforcement?IMG_3736IMG_3738

Maybe one reason we are so drawn to this particular area is because we had family that once lived here.  All right, not really (that we know of Smile), but it was surprising to see both our names in the cemetery outside the church.  Just one more reason I know our souls have always been together… okay, cheese I know!  Smile


We were amazed at the sheer number of people stopping to stare and gaulk at the deer (you know being from South Georgia, this is most amazing during a “certain” season when the freezer is almost empty)…IMG_3727 

Where as, this caused most of my staring and gaulking…


Elijah Oliver, son of one of the oldest families of Caves Cove, had a “stranger room” added to the front porch for overnight visitors to stay.  I can’t even imagine that, seeing how I won’t even open the door for the UPS man!  None-the-less, that was a pretty cool concept.  Many other buildings were on the site as well (springhouse, smokehouse, corn crib, barns, etc.).


The mill area was one spot we did have to get out and walk around.  Sure glad we did!  The grist mill was totally cool (picture provided from Trace’s cell phone, since I forgot my camera in the car), because they were actually still making corn mill.  Among the other buildings that had been moved to the complex from other parts of the park, there were park rangers giving demonstrations for children on various things (however, our own kid remained in the car – after all, he is him mama’s son).


Dan Lawson’s place was built in 1856 on the land purchased from his father-in-law.  It is amazing how houses were built out of logs because sawmills were too far away to be feasible (I didn’t even realize sawmills were around in the 1800s). Then again, there was a sawmill on Little House on the Prairie, which was set in the late 1800's.  After a little research (what can I say, I am a media specialist after all) I discovered sawmills have been around since the 3rd century AD.  Who knew? 


So, obviously, there were several other stops along the loop road; but, my camera didn’t seem to be at the ready each time.  Smile  This was definitely the highlight of our vacation for me and I can’t wait to go back.  I don’t think this part of the park will ever get old for me!

2 comments left with ♥:

Lindsay Smith said...

We LOVE Cades Cove! We were blessed with a great gift from that place almost 2 years ago. :)

Lindsay Smith said...

We camped there in the fall and it was so nice. Leaves were beautiful and weather was great. Highly recommend the fall...and the deer are out stirring which would make the men folk happy.

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