THE ADVENTURES OF PLATY AND THE GANG
Cincinnati, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee
(click on pictures to see a larger size)
In the last issue I said we were going to Cincinnati. The last day we were in Grand Rapids, MN, I stopped at a dentist because I had a tooth that was getting pressure sensitive. He said I had the beginning of an abscess and needed a root canal. If he did it we would have to stay in the area for a week or two. Instead he gave me an antibiotic to clear up the infection and said I needed to find someone within a few weeks that could do it in one visit. Cincinnati seemed to be a good place.
We found one that could get me in the next day. He did a great job.
We stayed at Miami Whitewater Forest. It's a county park with a nice campground. Hamilton County must have a lot of money. The park was one of the nicest we have seen. The weather however was not so good. They had a heat wave going and it was miserable. We left the next day and headed for the mountains.
The next stop was north of Ashville near Maggie Valley. We stayed at Creekwood Farm RV Park. We heard of a valley just north of the campground where they have reintroduced elk. The valley is called Cataloochee. We drove there not knowing much about it. The road went from paved to gravel and the signs said we had mile yet to go. About 10 curvy mountain miles later the road turned back to pavement and there was an overlook. The day was cloudy but made for a great picture.
Native Americans were the first people to visit this beautiful valley. Archeological evidence suggests that the Cherokee hunted and fished here for abundant game, but did not settle permanently. They named the area "Gadalutsi," meaning "standing up in a row," referring to either the numerous mountain peaks surrounding the valley, or to the row upon row of trees growing on those high ridges. Following Indian trails, white settlers pushed into the valley in the early 1800s as older settlements on the outside became more crowded, and family holdings were subdivided among heirs to their smallest limits. Young adults had to go somewhere else to start a homestead. At that time, the entire valley belonged to Colonel Robert Love, a post-Revolutionary War land speculator who granted homesteads to those who would settle and improve the land. The earliest known entries on this part of the Love estate were made by the Caldwell's (1814), followed by the Hannah, Bennett, Noland, Palmer, Franklin, Woody and Barnes families. By the 1850s Cataloochee was well populated, but not full.
The U.S. agricultural census shows a steady increase in property values, and livestock and crop production. Much of the produce went to outside markets in Tennessee and the Carolinas. Big and Little Cataloochee were becoming communities in their own right, no longer mere outposts of older ones.
This lasted until the late 1930's where the entire area was purchased as part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Today a few of the homes and building have been preserved but the forest has reclaimed most of the farmland.
We explored the area but never saw an elk. There's a nice campground that was full of RVs. Because the road was paved in the valley we thought we must have come in the back way. WRONG!! We came in the short way and went back that same way. That had to be how the RV's got there too.
to the Nantahala Outdoor Center one day for
lunch. We had been there before when Judy hiked the Appalachian
Trail. The Trail goes across the bridge here on the way to the Smokies. The
restaurant is on the right. It's a very busy place with all the rafting and
We spent a day shopping in Waynesville and visited the Soco
Gardens Zoo in Maggie Valley. It's on of the nicest small zoos we've
seen. They give guided tours so you get to know a lot about each
animal. This sloth bear likes to spit on people. The guide is
holding his hand up to block it.
Here he is in the rattlesnake pit showing us the different types of poisonous ones.
We also visited the Nature Center in Ashville.
We saw this bear playing with a cardboard box. He would tear pieces off and roll around on his back hugging it.
We left the area on 8/12 and went to Ft Myers for a few days. We weren't scheduled to be at Grayson Highlands until 9/1 so we decided to go home. We parked in the front yard for 4 days and then went to the Weber's on Pine Island for two days.
We then headed north to spend a couple of days visiting with Dick and Debbie Bordis. They came over from Daytona with their new truck and 5th wheel for the weekend to a campground just south of Ocala.
next stop was Grand Lake Resort between Ocala and Gainesville. Here we met
up with John and Jane Canfield. They have a new motorhome and came over
from Deland on the maiden voyage towing their new Jeep. They're in the
process of selling their house and becoming full timers. We visited the Florida
Museum of Natural History before they arrived.
We then moved to Volunteer Campground just north of Knoxville. Our tourist adventures there have included The Museum Of Appalachia in Norris, TN.
This is called a "living mountain village". There is a museum of famous people and a collection of buildings and articles from the southern Appalachian Region.
The cabins include Mark Twain's Family Cabin and Uncle John's
dirt floor cabin that was used as Daniel Boone's TV home (pictured here).
Just north of the Museum is Norris Dam and the Lenoir Museum, another collection of early Americana.
Another day found us visiting the Town of Oak Ridge, TN. This was the home of the Manhattan Project during WW2 that developed the atom bomb. The whole town was "top secret" and was home to 75,000 people (now it's 28,000). It's also the home to the American Museum of Science & Energy. We spent a couple of hours there. Judy especially liked playing with the children's displays.
Tomorrow we will be going to Grayson Highlands State Park. We will be the camp hosts there for September and October.
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