Sunday, July 23, 2006

Cades Cove driving tour in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove has always touched me since the first time I visited this valley in my favorite national park more than 40 years ago

I had experienced the Cades Cove loop and the surrounding area countless times by car, by truck, on horseback, by bicycle, and on foot, from sunup to sundown and all throughout the night. I know every twist and turn on this road which is a wonderful ride through natural beauty and pioneer history.

Cades Cove was where I got to see my first black bear outside of a zoo, and where for the first time, I was able to observe a wild tom turkey strut his stuff to seduce his soon to be mate.

From frost filled mornings with deer jumping through freshly fallen snow, to lazy hot summer afternoons where the incessant chatter of bugs becomes almost deafening, the beauty and charm of Cades Cove constantly reminds me that the world is in fact filled with the beauty and wonder of nature - you just have to experience it.

Over the years I have taken dozens of my friends and family on excursions in this area of the national park. When I knew that I was going to write this page, rather than pull pictures from my personal archives of thousands of Cades Cove photographs and write from my memory about countless tours on the Cades Cove loop, I wanted to experience the driving tour again as it was my first time taking the tour.

Walking the entire 11 mile Cades Cove loop is not for everyone, especially when lugging heavy equipment as I did.

I have taken my experiences form this and past walks as well as my research about the Cades Cove area and posted them on the Cade Cove Driving tour by Your Smokies.


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