Cades Cove is the most heavily visited destination within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and we did experience the traffic this morning. It’s a beautiful part of the park and well worth seeing, however. The area is known for its collection of historic pioneer churches and cabins, as well as its wildlife. We didn’t see a bear, but there were wild turkeys and deer, whose presence caused major traffic jams.
|Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church|
The demonstration here showed the traditional way of making sorghum molasses. The sorghum stalks were being crushed in a mill that was being turned by a mule walking around in a circle. The juice was then extracted and then boiled and evaporated into syrup. Of course, I had to buy a pint. I just hope the glass jar never breaks in the RV. I can’t imagine the mess that would make.
|The Mule Powers the Mill|
|Boiling the Syrup|
Cable Mill, a water-powered grist mill that still grinds corn into cornmeal, is the only building on its original site. Interesting farm structures represent a typical mountain community and have either been relocated here or reconstructed. All structures are log, with the exception of the frame house.
|Smokehouse and Gregg-Cable House|
|Corn Crib and Gear Shed|
The National Park Service is developing a long-range management plan for Cades Cove, and I can’t quite imagine the challenge that this area poses. Preservation of historic structures which are being defacing with graffiti, traffic control and the reintroduction of native plants are just a few of the issues that must be addressed.
|Graffiti Is a Constant Threat|
|Education Is One Way to Combat Graffiti|
|Native Plant Demonstration Plot|
Our drive back through the park over Newfound Gap Road was almost as pretty as yesterday’s drive. It was a bit more hazy, but there was less traffic, and the drive was more relaxing. Tim and I both agreed that the visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park was definitely worth it
|View from Newfound Gap|