Theme 98 – Fences

Cades Cove Fence
Cades Cove Fence

In the Smoky Mountains, a cove is any wide valley.  Cades Cove is a historic part of the park where several farmsteads and other buildings from the 1800’s have been restored and preserved.  The park service has built wonderful split-rail fences around several of these old structures and fields, adding another bit of realism to the whole experience.

Theme 230 – Peaks or Valleys

Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains

I took this photo a couple weeks ago while driving with my folks through Smoky Mountain National Park, on our way to Cherokee, NC.  There are several spots along the road to stop and enjoy the views, and you can actually see a part of the road leading up through the valley below.  The Smokies are really grand and, when the air is clear, can offer some of the most impressive sights you’ll find anywhere in the Appalachian Mountains.

Theme 201

Cherokee Reservation North Carolina
Cherokee Reservation North Carolina

Exiting the North Carolina side of either  Great Smoky Mountains National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find this monument at the entrance to the Cherokee Indian Reservation.  You are greeted first with the written language of the Cherokee Indians and then, in smaller font, English.  During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, native American children were removed from their homes by the U.S. government and sent to boarding schools where they were not allowed to speak any language but English.  As you might imagine, these practices nearly wiped out the spoken languages of many tribes.  The Cherokee Indians are making a concerted effort to restore their written and spoken language, and every sign throughout the Reservation is written in both English and Cherokee.

My wife and I took my folks to the Smokies over the weekend, which also means lunch in Cherokee, NC.  A few years ago, the Tribe built a couple casinos which have turned out to be quite successful.  The Reservation is now awash in new construction and we were greeted by this new monument as we entered town.