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Steamed up over Great Smoky

The leaves in the park were just starting to show some colour (or as teh local would have it - color).

The leaves in the park were just starting to show some colour (or as the locals would have it – color).

 

There’s bears in them there hills. Seriously.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park – which straddles the Tennessee / North Carolina border  – claims to have bears. About 1700 of them.

That was all I needed to hear and we were off, cameras poised, on a bear hunt.

Entering the park, we stopped at the ranger station, to be assured that there were indeed bears to be seen. In fact, we were given advice on how to behave if we were to come across a bear doing what bears do in the woods.

 

 

 

 

 

A few minutes later  – a mile or more further into the park, we saw a crowd of excited photographers…

Where's the bear?

Where’s the bear?

 

This had to be it – bear photo op…  We grabbed our cameras and stomped through the grass.

The deer were cute and very happy to be photographed.. but they were not bears.

The deer were cute and very happy to be photographed.. but they were not bears.

Undeterred and keeping my bear hopes high, we then started an exploration of Cades Cove – a beautifully preserved historic settlement.

There was so much to discover… fascinating stuff about barn design.

The settlers in Appalachia seemed to have some issue with building walls that came all the way to the ground.

The settlers in Appalachia seemed to have some issue with building walls that came all the way to the ground.

About whittlin’

I do hope he plans to sweep up all those wood shavings on the floor.

I do hope he plans to sweep up all those wood shavings on the floor.

About how to build the foundations of your shotgun shack…

No building regs back then - I'm not sure that is a good thing.

No building regs back then – I’m not sure that is a good thing.

 

And – sadly – a few not so nice things to learn about people.

These buildings are not old shacks – they are a piece of history. These buildings have been a national monument since 1940 – but for some reason people seem to think they have the right to carve their names into the walls. It’s unpleasant when people do it on public toilets – it’s criminal when they do it on a national treasure.

Why would anyone do this to a piece of their own heritage?

Why would anyone do this to a piece of their own heritage?

 

And this was the final straw for me……

Mom - you should teach your children to respect their heritage - not deface it.

Teach your children to respect their heritage – not deface it.

Mom – if you really loved your kids, you would preserve their heritage, not destroy it!

We spent a lovely day in the park. We didn’t ever meet a bear, but that’s not what made us sad.

However, I was soon cheery again – back in a favourite place – listening for voices from beyond the grave. More on that next week.

 

 

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4 Responses to Steamed up over Great Smoky

  • You’re so right! Defacing history is not the way to go about showing you were there or leaving your mark. Take a picture or buy a souvenir. It’s such a shame that people think they can do that!

    • It was really sad , Chanpreet. The park is too big to have a ranger stationed everywhere. You would think that the people who come to enjoy the park would have more respect for it.
      It was a lovely park and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there – more pictures next week. This time of the graveyard.

  • We went to Cades Cove last year – beautiful! Unfortunately I think you’ll find the same sort of thing the world over and in a couple of hundred years it’ll be considered historical graffiti and pointed out to tourists I suspect.

    • Cades Cove was lovely. I really enjoyed the visit. Sadly, I think you are right about the graffiti. But it still steams me up. I once caught a teenage boy writing on the white marble wall of the Taj Mahal with a purple marker pen – trying to impress his girlfriend.
      He just did not understand why I was angry. Sigh!

Writing retreats 2020 - Intensive tutor-led retreats with Janet Gover and Alison May

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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