It was a little trek from where our cabin was in Gatlinberg to Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, but we really wanted to see this beautiful area of the mountains. It took us 45 minutes to reach the Cove, and we were there for about two hours.
Early pioneers cleared the valley floor and built many farms. It was also a well known Cherokee Indian hunting ground. It's the largest, open-air museum in the Smoky Mountians, and has origional pioneer homesteads, barns, businesses and farmland.
This deer was actually the only animal we saw, besides the wild turkeys running in front of our house.
Along the side of the road, visitors to the area can see many original churches from the 1800's.
The open fields made it an awesome place for pictures - now if only I had a better camera!
We peeked inside a blacksmith's house...
....several barns and a house..
...as well as peeking inside a still-working windmill.
But the most fun we had was walking along the stream to the dam where Steve and the kids waded in the creek and threw stones. The mill area was pretty crowded with tourists, but no one walked all the way down the stream, so we had a very peaceful 45 minutes to ourselves.