Monday, June 17, 2019

The Smoky Mountains

Early interesting Cars:
  Ahhhhh, that 1956 T-Bird with a port hole!

But for today:
I saw the Atlantic Ocean at 6 years old. I remember the Smokey’s at about 7 years old. We were crossing thru Newfound Gap. I think at the time dad was driving  a 1947 Chevy Fleetline auto. I had just seen the Cherokee Indian village for the first time and had a headband with a feather and an Indian tomahawk, daddy had bought for me.,

Both were handmade there in Cherokee. Now most of the trinkets are actually stamped made in China. That is sorta sad to me. BUT you cannot beat Cherokee for a kid thrilled with stories from the past. Of course later in life I learned the dark history of that Tribe, i.e. The Trail of Tears. A sad part of the history of the USA. But at the time I was just thrilled to see ‘Real Indians’.

BUT back up on Newfound Gap. I had no idea at the time the importance of the Gap. It was encased in a cloud so no ‘views’ were to be seen. There was a path up into the woods, and I had to walk on up into the cloud. I hadn’t walked too far until met a huge (to me) dark figure, It paused and reared up. I took a step or too forward before I heard a low growl and realized it was for real, a bear. My feet took flight and I was back to the parking lot in a flash.

Dad continued our trip to Tennessee. I know the family got tired of my reporting seeing a bear.

Sherry and I have driven crossed Newfound Gap many times in our lives. But I was about 70 years old and backpacking  through the Smokey Mountains before I realized the very path where I met the bear, is actually the Appalachian Trail as it passes the Gap and the Smoky Mountains.

So we actually walked the very path I was walking when I met the bear at 7 years old. That was sort of a kick to me.

Nite Shipslog


Lisa said...

Oh I remember mom and dad taking us to Cherokee to see the Indians. I would wear my faux leather Indian dress for the occasion. I loved Indians. Still do. We would go about every year and I would always come home with an Indian doll and my brother would always get a head wear or tomahawk. I wish Nick would take me back. I would probably have to check out the casinos too.


betty said...

That must have been a kick for you Jack to make the connection of that's where you had seen the bear. You were wise to go running when you were so young; thankfully you outran that bear! Must be beautiful area there!


Mevely317 said...

I know my family travelled the Smokey Mountains, but I've zero recollection. That's actually on my short-list of places to visit! Tom's sis and BIL have sold their place on Amelia Island and are building in North Carolina, so who knows?!

Your memory of seeing that bear reminds me of a well-loved book: Emory's Gift. Told from the perspective of a young boy who befriends a bear, (to me) it's one of the most heart-warming tales I've ever read.

Chatty Crone said...

Wonder if any of your DNA was still there - doubt it.

Glenda said...

The history lesson was enjoyable, it's amazing that you recall all those happenings! I also love the Indian stories, it's so sad to know of the way the tribes were treated. We grew up finding arrowheads in the creek surrounding the farm. This post takes me back.

Susan Kane said...

What an adventure from the past and present. Write about your adventures, please oh please.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Yes, the Smokey Mountains are beautiful, but no, I've never seen a real bear. It's amazing the you managed to find the same spot where you met that bear with all the years gone by. I'm not sure if I'd be able to remember that well at all, but having met a bear in real life is definitely memorable. Guess one wouldn't forget it, no matter how long ago it was.