Thought it was time to get back to posting on our blog. Have no excuses, sorry. We headed out what we thought was west but some how we ended up in Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains. Neither of us have been here. Okay we really had a plan to head east.
First day we decided to drive Cades Cove. The loop is 11 miles in length, which is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. Prior to our arrival in the National Park, we were able to see many flowing streams.
Karol enjoying the flowing water
Just one of many views
If we were to travel Cades Cove again we would pick up the audio book that gives some of the background of this area. Reminder for next time. Along the loop were many opportunities to take pictures.
Cades Cove Methodist Church is one of three churches along the loop. This church is fourth historic building on the loop. Built in 1820, the church was constructed by carpenter and eventual minister J.D. McCampbell.
Inside the church
A visitor playing the piano for his daughter. The music could be heard outside. Beautiful music
Cable Mill – this mill is worth the entire Cades Cove trip, as Cable Mill is the only working grist mill in the Smoky Mountains. Historic buildings – barns, homes, a smokehouse, a blacksmith shop – are scattered around the mill, as well, making this spot a worthy stop.
Outside of the mill
The hopper for the corn
The corn grinder
End result – corn meal
Wild life is always seen by all that travel along the loop. We saw lots of turkeys, one white tailed dear and one black bear. The black bear was not very happy, at one point we were told there were seven. Felt lucky we got to see one.
What a wonderful day! Looking forward to another adventure tomorrow.
First trip of the summer. After a summer of rain and sand bagging we decided it was time to take a vacation. Everyone gives us a hard time about going on vacation. They say since we are retired we are always on vacation. Not sure we agree with their thoughts but there is always tomorrow when it comes to getting things done. Off to West Bend Iowa to visit the Grotto.
The Grotto is frequently considered the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and has been described as a “Miracle in Stone”.
It is a composite of nine separate grottos, each portrays a scene in the life of Christ. This is the largest man-made Grotto in the world, the Grotto contains the largest collection of precious stones and gems found anywhere in one location!
Father Paul Dobberstein labored 42 years, winter and summer, setting ornamental rocks and gems into concrete. Everything was built completely by hand.
Father Paul Dobberstein
The statues are created from white Italian marble. Hope you enjoy our photos.
Hard to believe we found a pay phone
And yet another phone booth and the phone actually worked – 25 cents please
The Grotto is an amazing place. Such beauty and workmanship.
Headed back out to the Coke Ovens again this season. Enjoy these photos.
We had two new jeeps that had never been to the ovens. Not only were the ovens a first but also crossing a river. A person needs to keep track of the flow. The flow was approximately 280 cubic feet per second. Doesn’t make much sense to me but the river was definitely flowing and high. A group of quads came behind us wanting to cross also. After we crossed and saw how high it was on our jeeps we told them it was best that they didn’t try to cross. Each of us took our time crossing the river. See how high the river was.
Everyone is lined up to cross the river
Carol and Linda
Heather and Gail
Judy and Tom
Karol. Sally and Dubbie
Everyone made it across
Hey, the quads are coming
The quads decided to turn around
Heather and Gail’s dog Murphy
Dubbie the jeeping dog
Final destination, the Coke Ovens.
Group photo opportunity
Close up of the back of an oven
Karol, Dubbie and I
Pretty-good sized, glad he was willing to share the trail
A crested cactus
The ovens are found southeast of Florence, AZ.