If you have ever been to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you have likely spent some time at Cades Cove. There is a picnic area and a campground at Cades Cove, along with the Cades Cove Loop, a one-way 11-mile road that circles the Cove. I have lived near the Smokies for 18 years now, and I have been to the picnic area up there, but we have never been around the Loop. Usually it is packed and traffic is horrible, but while we were camping in Townsend last weekend we decided to check it out.
It was about a 10 mile trip from our campground to get to the Loop, then another 11 miles around the Loop. The speed limit on the Loop is about 15-20 mph, so plan on staying a while. We were lucky in that October is usually the peak of leaf season here, so there weren’t nearly as many people as there usually are touring the Loop in the fall. But we still had some traffic…
I think it took us about an hour to get through the Loop. We didn’t see any wildlife except a couple of wild turkeys way off in the distance in a meadow. But when we finished the Loop we drove through the Cades Cove Campground to see if we might want to spend some time there in the future…and guess what we saw? More wild turkeys…
They look like T-Rexes to me. They were all bent over looking for food, and about that time the rain started to come down. So, we drove to the picnic area next to the campground for a pit stop before the trek back to our campground. By the time we got back in the car to head back, the rain was pouring down. So we spent the next 10 miles getting back to our campground in a torrential rain…we could barely see the car 10 yards in front of us. Not fun on a mountain road. But by the time we pulled into our campground, it was nothing but a sprinkle and then it cleared up. Nice.
I did take some photos while on the Loop. There are several old churches and log cabins, dating from the 1700 and 1800s. I also took lots of photos of the trees because I really want to make a landscape quilt. I can tell myself I haven’t made it yet because I don’t have the right fabric or the right photo, but I think it’s because I’m a big chicken. But, some of these photos have pushed me to it, and I think I will start on small landscape projects after the holidays. Here are some of the photos:
You can see in this photo that the trees in the higher elevations still have their leaves, but those lower have lost all of theirs. Those are pretty green pines in the middle.
These are a couple of the log cabins on the Loop. I might have to make a quilt with one of these in it.
And these are some more I took of the trees up there. I really like the bare trunks, and some of the photos give me ideas for color. I think I’m feeling better about starting a landscape project!
This week has been busy with appointments for me and my sick cat. I’ve also spent most of today working on plans for our 2016 guild quilt show. Tomorrow will be more quilt show work, then I think I will try to spend some time this weekend working some more on the flannel 9-Patch. I have so much more to cut, and I don’t know that I’ll get it done by the end of November. But I’ll keep trying.
I hope you all have a great Thursday!