Friday, April 27, 2012

Smoky Mountains National Park - Cataloochee

Even though we camped in Cataloochee the last time we were in the Smoky Mountains two years ago, the RV park we stayed in was so close to Cataloochee that we decided to make the drive up again.  The best time to go is in the evening because that is when the elk are active.  The drive up is always a little harrowing because the roads are so narrow and the drop off is so dramatic.  I'm always amazed that there are a couple brave souls that bring a rig up the mountain to camp there!

Exploring the old time barn
This house is open to explore inside
As before, there were plenty of elk grazing about. We walked around and checked out the other sites you can view--the church, the old house, the schoolhouse, and this time we walked up the steep hill to the cemetery.  It was a bit sobering to see all the unmarked gravestones, as well as all the gravestones with common family names, and so many graves of babies, toddlers, small children, and young adults.  Life on the mountain was no doubt very challenging.

The old school is still intact.
This is the old church.
The kids had a blast in the old church!  There was preaching, singing, and dancing!
The cemetery was really interesting.   It was sad how short their lives were.

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