Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Smoky Mountains with the Baldwins and Burwells

One last stop on our way out of Texas was at Caddo Lake State Park.  This was just north of Marshall Texas, across the State line from Shreveport, Louisiana.  Looking more like Louisiana than Texas, this lake and marsh was originally formed from storm damage that blocked a stream.  We only stopped one night but it looks like the area is worth another look at some time.

 Family's fishing at the dock.  Kayaks and canoes are rented here.  We saw several on the water

 Marsh area

 Beautiful cyprus swamp

After a quick stop in Jack's Creek, TN, to visit with Rose and Denver Huff  and their two granddaughters, we moved on to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park where Marlin could fish for a couple of days before we met up with the Baldwins and Burwells.
The Baldwins and Burwells rented a cabin close to where we were camped just outside The National Park in Townsend, TN.

On the porch of their cabin overlooking the Little River

View from their porch.

In the cabin kitchen Chuck and Bob unload a cooler into the fridge.

 Everyone arrived on Bob Baldwin's birthday, which required a cake and candles party, along with some card playing.

The next day called for a visit to our campsite at the Mountaineer RV park, just down the road from the cabin.

Townsend, the small community on the quiet side of the Smoky's, has a Heritage Center that includes some historic structures that have been moved from some of the surrounding towns.  The buildings are set amongst a beautiful background of flowering hillsides and gardens.

Julie, Glen and I add to the color!

A large cantilevered barn.  According to information posted here, Tennessee has 90% of all the cantilevered barns in the US.  No idea why this style did not catch on everywhere there were farms.  Perfect way to keep equipment, livestock, etc, out of the weather.

Bob and Glen Baldwin

Spent some time hiking in the park.  Two of our favorite (and easy) treks were through Elkmont, the abandoned summer camp area, and out to the Walker Sister's homestead.

 On the trail above Elkmont, headed to the Avent cabin (after a short rest)

Glen and Marlin crossing the stream leading up to the Avent cabin

Cabin in sight after a short climb.  This cabin was used as a studio by artist Myna Avent.

A peaceful place to sit and think.

On the cabin porch.

 Julie braving the bridge.

The next day we walked into the Greenbrier school house and on to the Walker sister's homestead

This school house is a "plank" construction.  The wall boards provide the building's support system.  Check out the width of the boards.

Benches/ desks still remain.

The Walker homestead.  Five spinster sisters lived here, carrying on a way of life they had lived since the late 1800's, until the last one died in 1965.

One day during the week, Bob and Chuck went golfing and Marlin headed off for a day of fishing.  Glen, Julie and I were at the camper getting set to do some shopping when Marlin returned.  Seems he needed a bit of help from us!

 He had a fish hook imbedded in his lip!  He is not sure how this happened.  He was cutting off a piece of leader when the hook "jumped" into his face!  After several thwarted attempts, I was able to pinch the barb shut and get the hook out with little pain or distress.  It did not even bleed.  It did thwart the shopping trip though.

Our last day in Townsend we visited the Railroad museum.  This small establishment features artifacts from the Little River Railroad.  This was the railroad that hauled out millions of board feet of lumber from the slopes of the Smoky Mountains.  The docent there had endless anecdotes about events occurring during the railroad's hay day, including train crashes and tales of swinging bridges.

Our last hike before heading home was to an area called Tremont.  A three mile stretch of road is posted with numbered signs that describe activities that occurred in each location.  Tremont was a thriving lumber town that included schools, housing, and even a hotel.  The entire area now is new growth forest.

At the end of the drivable road is a trail that continues to follow the old railroad route along the middle fork of the Little River and provides views of spectacular waterfalls.

Marlin and I made one last stop before bee lining it to Maine.  We traveled to Spartensburg South Carolina to visit with Sharon and Francis Merrow, our friends from Rockland.  The have sold their house in Rockland and relocated to Spartensburg.  We had a great time seeing their new house and touring some of this area.

This picture of Francis, Sharon, and Marlin was taken at our campsite in Croft State Park, where we had a picnic before seeing the sights in their new hometown.

So ends another winter adventure by the Cooks.  Heading for Dixmont on Tuesday April 21, 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Good job Judy! Good pictures and your descriptions are great! Julie