Views from Thursday’s Hike

Rain was due to arrive about noon on Thursday when Charlotte and I were in Pigeon Forge, so we got out early for a hike there at the cabins where we were staying. Our first stop was to sit in a great swing with beautiful views of the mountains.

After a break there, and a stop to visit the chapel along the trail, we headed on up the Sunset Ridge Trail. This was the barrier we ran across when we reached the end of the trail. It was a great little walk.

Heritage Center Museum

We spent a good while in the Heritage Center Museum – as is my way :-). After the display from the Townsend Archaeological Project I enjoyed the rest of the Native American Gallery, with details about how the Cherokee lived day to day in that area. Looking at the weapons reminded me of the exhibits we saw at the Native American Studies Center in Lancaster. which was the first time I can remember seeing this word for the spear.

From the Native American Gallery we moved on to the side of the museum dedicated to the pioneers who settled in the area around Pigeon Forge. There were many artifacts on loan from the National Park Service, not surprisingly. So interesting.

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

Another building I really enjoyed seeing in the Appalachian Village at the Heritage Center was the Blacksmith’s shop. Just the information about what all blacksmiths did – they were often called on to be vets, among other things – was so interesting. You can see Charlotte checking out one of the signs in this picture.

Once we finished up touring the village we headed inside to the museum inside the Heritage Center. I had never heard of this, but when Highway 321 through Townsend was being widened back in 1999 they discovered a huge treasure trove of Indian artifacts, and the project was postponed for two years while the area was excavated by archaeologists from UT, among other places. One interesting thing that I learned that I had not even thought of was that Indians had lived there for 10,000 years – always the Cherokee. Of course I knew Native Americans lived in the area for millennia before settlers arrived, but it just never occurred to me that it was the same tribe of Indians, they just went through several periods of advancement, for lack of a better word. It had just never crossed my mind. Lots and lots of artifacts were on display. So interesting.

Appalachian Village

Wednesday afternoon while Charlotte and I were on our birthday trip we spent time at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. The first part was an Appalachian Village set up on the grounds of the center, with buildings that had been moved there from all over the surrounding counties, to show what life was like before modern days arrived with all of its conveniences. Of course the first stop was the Moonshine Still :-). There was a great display explaining exactly how it worked, and also including stories – some were pretty funny – of the runners and the different things they ran into 🙂

I took a picture of this sign that was in one of the cabins we went through. You know I have already looked this book up on Amazon 🙂

Off to the Walker Family Cabin

Wednesday morning we left our cabin soon after breakfast to head to Smoky Mountains National Park to do a little hiking. Our first stop was at the Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse. We were lucky that the gate was open so we could drive up to the parking area – I understand that isn’t always the case. Later on in the museum we visited in Townsend, we saw a picture from the 1920’s of children sitting at these very desks. That was pretty cool.

Our whole reason for heading to this part of the park was to visit the Walker Family Cabin – one of the best preserved in the park. It was home to a family of four sons and seven daughters, all of whom lived to adulthood. The brothers all married and one sister, and the other sisters continued to live in this cabin until the last one died in the 1960’s. We thought that was very interesting. And as an additional interesting aside, we met a couple from west Georgia while we were at the schoolhouse, and later ran into them again at the cabin. We learned that the lady’s grandfather and then father were the heads of advertising for Rock City, and her grandfather is the one who came up with the idea of painting all of the signs on the roofs of barns throughout the southeast. I loved that 🙂 Here is the cabin through the woods. So picturesque.

At Sunshine House Cabin

This past week Charlotte and I went on our annual birthday trip for a few days, this time to the mountains around Pigeon Forge. Charlotte and her husband Bob vacation there several times a year, so she knew the perfect cabin for us to stay in. And it was so cute. It was round, so it was fun seeing how the bedrooms were shaped. I got this picture of my bedroom as soon as we got there, before I got it all rumpled and messed up. So cute.

Follow up Haunted Trail visit

Since Lindee & her family weren’t able to be here for the family Halloween gathering, she and the girls came by one evening the following week after everyone had finished golf and soccer practice. I’d made a big pot of bean soup, and then they checked out the Haunted House and Trail. I got this one picture of Mal out on the trail. I feel like she didn’t like what was going on when I made this picture 🙂

Sports Saturday

Friday night after our festival at church, June spent the night with me. We got up early Saturday morning, and hit the road for Rock Hill to watch Charlie compete in his final cross country race of the season, what they called a Friendly Race, at Southpointe High School there in town. There really were only about ten or fifteen runners from each school, and it was a cold morning. We climbed to the top of the bleachers to watch, because you could see a lot of the course from there – and it was a VERY cold morning up there :-). I got this picture of Charlie in action as he was coming back in to the football field to the finish line.

After the race we went with Andrew, Jenny, Charlie, and Ellison to TJ’s for a yummy late breakfast, and then June & I headed to Charlotte to watch Clara play soccer. The match ended in a tie, but they played really well. Then it was straight to take June home so she could get ready for a Halloween party that night. Fun times.

Leaves and Light Festival

What a fun night we had Friday night, when I helped pass out candy at the festival at church. June was there with me, dressed like a Pink Lady, to help with the games.

We had a really good turnout – I think they said 150 people all together – and I tried to get pictures of all of the children that I knew that came through. Here is Lee, who has been in the nursery and Sunday school with me since he was born. He is one of those kids that just belongs to the whole church :-). So cute.