Home Away From Home

Tranquility and Bedlam

We got a late start because we hadn’t quite decided what we were going to do today. Also, it was raining so that entered into the decision making. We finally decided to go on to Cades Cove and just drive through the rain. Fortunately for the most part it only sprinkled a bit. We drove the 25 miles from Gatlinburg thoroughly enjoying the beauty of the day and the surroundings. Gorgeous white dogwood trees sprinkled the landscape just adding to the depth of the beauty. After a brief bathroom stop we entered the 11 mile one-way loop known as Cades Cove. As was the drive from Gatlinburg the scenery was absolutely beautiful.

Our first stop was the John Oliver Place, a one room house built in the 1820’s. Parents, infants and daughters slept on the first floor and sons slept in the loft. The stone chimney is held together with mud mortar as were the chinks of open spaces between logs. It began to sprinkle as we were leaving but we were only about a 1/4 mile from the car.

Our next stop was the Primitive Baptist Church. Fortunately we were just in time for the brief program giving the details of the church. One of the outstanding features of the church was the hand prints on the ceilings. The boards, different sizes, were prepared before putting up so the worker’s hand prints were on the boards. There were also small hand prints where children had been with their parents. Another interesting fact was that the church split over desires to help missionaries so the Missionary Church was started. The Primitive Baptist looked after each other whether in sickness, hard times, destruction, etc. and didn’t see a need to help missionaries.

It had begun to rain pretty hard by then so we skipped the Methodist Church and the Missionary Baptist. It was also pretty foggy by then. We wound around the one lane road passing the Elijah Oliver Place and stopped at the Mill Area which was a walking tour. One of the prettiest structures was the grist mill where they still ground corn to make corn mill. It has no additives. Jerry bought a small bag and we’ll try it out when we get home.

Afterward we continued our winding tour stopping at a beautiful place to have our sandwiches and chips. Jerry was once again taking pictures so I mentioned that the pictures that people keep and ones that have meaning usually have people in them so he suggested that I get out and get in the picture. I did and then he said I should be frolicking so he took a pic of me acting foolish. A lady in the car parked next to us (whom I obviously didn’t realize was there) said I should have been singing “The hills are alive” and quite frankly the scene did resemble the last scene in The Sound of Music.

As we continued on our ride Jerry said something about going to the Dixie Stampede tonight. I suggested that we wait until we got back to call to make sure we had plenty of time to get there. We couldn’t have called anyway because we had no cell coverage the entire we were gone.

Jerry was looking for a particular water fall that we had seen going in and when we found it we stopped and took some more pics. Afterward I fought sleepiness. I wasn’t really tired but I was SO sleepy.

When we got back to Pigeon Forge we stopped at the Dixie Stampede and there were lots of people already there. Come to find out there is a pre-show at 5:00 with dinner and the Stampede starting at 6:00. It all was a lot of fun. I got a virgin strawberry daiquiri in a boot and it was so cold and icy that I ended up drinking it during the entire pre-show. The actual show was good and the dinner was quite good, much better than last night’s but … we had to eat with our fingers. When they poured the soup my first thought was where is my spoon and then realized that I had to drink it. That was no problem but eating chicken with my fingers – well if I ever go again I’ll sneak in a fork!

We were back at the coach by 8:00. Jerry wanted to go for a walk but I was just too tired so I readied for bed and was asleep a little after 10.

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