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