In April our thoughts always gravitate to the Smokey Mountains. Spring usually arrives here long before we see any sign of it in Maine. In spite of the cooler temperatures this year, the daffodils and forsythia are in bloom and the spring beauties are starting to pop out along many of the trails. Although the river water is below optimum temperature for trout fishing, Marlin has spent a couple of days giving it a good try anyway.
As usual, I have hiked the trails nearest the best fishing streams and took way too many pictures of the same places I have photographed in the past. It's kind of like walking on the beach. I tell myself not to look down because I already have way to many shells, but somehow I end up with pockets full anyway.
As you can see from the snow covered ground, it was too cold to fish that day.
Along the edge of the trail, I noticed a path leading down to the river. It looked inviting so we agreed to take a short detour. When we got to the water, we noticed that the path continued on the other side of the stream and there was a cabin perched higher on the hill. We were delighted to find documents inside describing the history of the building, the past owners, and information about the artist, Mayna Trainor Avent.
The cabin is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is maintained by the Park service. Although originally built in 1850, by a Sam and Minnie Cook, many alterations have been made over the years. In 1918 Cook's daughter and son-in-law sold the cabin and 18 acres to Mayna and Frank Avent. Mayna is a nationally recognized artist with several pieces at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. Mayna used the cabin as a studio between 1918 and 1940.
Back on the trail we met two hikers who were looking for the path to the cabin. They told us about a book "History Hikes of the Smokey Mountains", which describes many of the remaining structures in the Park, along with much of the background of each building.