Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cades Cove, Smokey Mountain National Park

Gristmill
     I finally got the opportunity to take a short trip up to the Smoky Mountain National Park.  It has been a lot of years since my last visit.  I went to a part of the mountains that I had never visited before.  It was on the western side of the range near Nashville.  The place I visited was called Cades Cove.  When I first heard the name I thought I was going to a body of water somewhere.  As it turns out the word "cove" refers to a type of mountain valley.  Cades Cove is a valley in the mountains where the National Park has preserved old home sites from the 1800's.  There is also a working grain mill that you can visit.  The photo above is of the grain mill. 

John Oliver's Cabin - Built 1822
Most of the building are of log construction. My current stay in Chattanooga has rekindled my fascination with log cabins.  There are old log building all around this area.





The Park provides information at each site as to who built and lived in these cabins.  I like examining the construction methods and imagining the day I get to try and build one of these houses myself.  These days you can buy a kit, with all the log pre cut and just assemble the structure.  I want to build one from scratch. 

 Along with the log homes there were a number of out building used in farming.  Some of these were a little strange looking.  I wondered at the reasons for constructing a building with such a wide overhang of the roof. 


 The area is also very popular for hiking.  The valley and surrounding hills are laced with hiking trails.  This bridge is at the beginning of a five mile hike to a popular water fall in the area.  I did not have enough time to take the hike during this visit.  I hope to return when I have a little more time and see the waterfall.