GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NP - STOP #3

through



TRAVEL DAY - 202 miles

CADES COVE CAMPGROUND
to
TULLALAH GORGE STATE PARK

Our longest travel day to date through three states, TN-NC-GA!



As our final stop in the Great Smoky Mountains we spent this weekend at Cades Cove Campground. Upon our arrival at our campsite we were treated to a scene straight out of a B rated horror movie. The lady in the campsite across the street from us was being chased by a pair of attack turkeys. They chased her all the way back into her camper. It was the funniest thing we've seen since starting this journey. I'm not sure what she did to them to receive such treatment but they never once harassed us, and they were over on our campsite all weekend. Later when she came back out of her camper the two birds went right back to chasing her? One of the turkey's had a really bad limp, possibly even a broken leg. I don't know if that had anything to do with their temperament.

Here are the two turkeys in question, looking all sweet and innocent!


They main activity here at the cove is to drive, or for the daring, bicycle, the 11 mile one way Cades Cove Loop Trail. There are two roads that cut across the loop which means you can turn it into a 2 or 7 mile loop if you take the shortcuts. We did the entire loop twice with ROVER during our stay here. Once in the early evening just to get a look at our options. The second time in the mid morning to give us enough time to stop and visit some of the sites along the drive. One stop you don't want to miss is the Cable Mill & Visitor Center. Here they have relocated several of the cabins and a cantilever barn from other areas of the cove and placed them on the original site of the Cable Mill. The Cable Mill is a typical water wheel driven mill, but it was the only one we had the fortune to see in operation.

Along the Cades Cove Loop Trail there are 17 different stops where you can explore 6 different homesteads, 3 different churches and cemeteries, 2 hiking trails, 4 shortcut intersections, an Orientation Shelter to pick up your informational brochures, and of course the mill and visitor center. If we had better weather during our weekend here we would have definitely traveled around the loop again to stop at some of the areas we missed the first two times around. Instead, during our rainy day, we travel outside of the park and saw another cavern, more on that in the next post!

No words or photos will give you the same feeling you get when being here at Cades Cove. A cove by definition is "a small valley between two ridge lines that is closed at one or both ends". The words oasis and paradise should also be considered for inclusion in the definition, because that is what it is! Too bad for us it's now part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park because this is someplace where I could see us buying a small piece of property and spending all of our future winters, for when we get too old or too tired to continue traveling year round. That's just how peaceful it is here! Anyway here are the photos, no captions because words just can't do it justice.



CADES COVE LOOP ROAD



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Until next time
TWO PEAS


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