Cades Cove, Part 2

After a cold and dreary morning, 29 degrees and foggy, we decided to head back up to Cades Cove today to continue our exploration. The forecast promised sunshine and warmer temperatures. We were hoping the weather folks were right.

IMG_1498By the time we finished with breakfast, loaded up the car and headed out, Mr Sunshine was breaking through and the temperature was approaching 40 degrees. We were dressed in layers so we were ready for cooler or warmer temperatures.

We had a pleasant drive up to Cades Cove. The forest looked different this time since there was a light dusting of snow in places where the sun does not normally shine. Beautiful blue skies and cool temperatures greeted us as we entered the cove. We drove past John Oliver’s place and traffic started stacking up in spots. It became apparent that the visitors today did not pay attention to the rule of not stopping on the road way. Every place we ran into congestion on the road, people had stopped to take pictures of the deer grazing in the fields. It took us about 30 minutes to cover about 5 miles to get the back to back where we ended our last exploration.

John Cable bought land in the cove in the late 1860’s. He built a water powered grist mill and saw mill in the late 1870’s. The grist mill is still in operation today. Visitors can purchase corn meal ground on John Cable’s grist mill.

DSC_0691Beyond the grist mill, there is a functional blacksmith shop, a cane mill and sorghum furnace and a cantilever barn that houses a left over carriage.


DSC_0689Visitors can also purchase fresh made sorghum molasses made right on the spot.

DSC_0697After a short break we headed down Forge Creek Road looking for Henry Whitehead’s Place. The smaller cabin in the back was the original cabin where Matilda Shield Gregory lived with her son after her husband abandoned her. She met and later married Henry Whitehead. Henry’s wife died and left him with three daughters. After the marriage, Henry built the larger cabin where they then lived.

DSC_0703Carol and I are standing on the front porch just as Henry and Matilda may have done many years before.

DSC_0705Inside the larger cabin was a narrow staircase that led to an upstairs loft. This area was large enough for Henry and Matilda and their 4 children to sleep.

DSC_0712It was getting late so we decided to end our exploration and head back to Townsend. I did want to make a short stop for a water fall on Mill Creek, which by the way runs to John Cables Grist Mill.

DSC_0716OK, now we are headed out and back to Townsend. Traffic was pretty heavy coming out of Cades Cove. We were about half way down the mountain when we saw lots of traffic stopped on the road. We eased our way through and discovered a large crowd of people on the side of the road looking at something off the road. As we drove past, we realized they had spotted a black bear momma and her three cubs. I pulled over to join the crowd. Momma bear was not interested in the crowd so she led her cubs up the mountain. Unfortunately I never had a clear shot with my camera so I have no photo to post.

About 1/4 mile from our campground, I did spot this Great Blue Heron in the middle of Little River. She was posing for me so I stopped and took her photo.

DSC_0735After an early supper at Trailhead Steak House in Townsend. This was our second trip there so you know the food was good.

There is plenty of exploring in Codes Cove for us to go back a couple of more times. What an amazing lace. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

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