Lots of layers today as it was going to be about -2c. We took off after a lovely breakfast again to the Mountains, travelling along The Little River Road. First stop was a walk to see Laurel Falls about 2.5miles return.
We walked steadily uphill past laurel bushes, pine, oak and maple trees. The walk is so pretty. The waterfall wasn't anything to get excited about but it was certainly better than the Cataract falls that we saw yesterday. We then drove to a small town, Townsend and found a great coffee shop. We had coffees and hot chocolate and couldn't go past the apple fritters and caramel chocolate slices made by a local lady!
In the car again and followed Laurel Creek Road to the Cade's Cove Loop. A cove in Smoky Mountain is a flat valley between mountains or ridges. It has some great cultural treasures that the Southern Appalacian Mountains have to offer. Cade's Cove was a farming community of about 125 families. We saw many of the 80 historical buildings, the first one being the home of John Oliver who bought the land in 1826.
The workmanship was very impressive for that time, using mules, muscle, simple tools and neighborly help. The parents slept on the ground floor with the daughters while the sons slept upstairs.
The Primitive Baptist Church was built in 1827 and replaced in 1887. It was closed due to the Rebellion and they felt the Rebels were too strong.
They had a cemetery behind the church where some of the early settlers were buried and relatives of those settlers more recently.
Elijah Oliver, son of John (the first house we saw) had a much bigger house and several buildings, including a spring house to keep milk cool, a smokehouse, corn crib (store corn for grinding) and a barn.
They used logs to build the houses as there was no sawmill nearby to cut the logs.
Continuing on the ring road, we stopped at the Cable Mill area...like a small village!
We also saw a grist mill (for grinding corn)
several houses, smokehouse, corn crib, and a sorghum mill where sugarcane was crushed and boiled down to make sugarcane!
Did see a bit of wild life...was hoping to see a bear as they have been quite active.
We were going to stay in on Tues as it was -9c when we were having breakfast and there were some snow flurries. But it didn't stop the birds outside the breakfast room window!
Dan, the B &B owner told us about the outlet mall so we decided to visit it! That way we could stay warm in the shops and only have to brave the cold between shops. It never got above -5c today. 50% of the US has snow and when I looked at the weather map this morning, only Calif and the very south of Florida and Texas had temperatures above 0C - unheard of! Treated myself to new thermals and gloves, don't know how long this cold is going to last.
Spent the afternoon in front of the fire catching up with this blog and downloading photos onto my Ipad. So relaxing!