Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gatlinburg's Very Own Tunes & Tales

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

It's early evening in downtown Gatlinburg and in the distance you can hear a dulcimer playing a chorus and the crowd has gathered around him and are clapping their hands to the rhythm. Down at the bridge in front of Ripleys, you may find Trout Catch Cal with his fishing line dangling over the side of the bridge telling tall tales while he demostrates fly fishing. Or maybe Horse Jaw Johnny who creates songs on the spot from information he gathers from the guest will be your favorite.
Somewhere around the next bend you hear those naughty Moonshine Boys who are drawing a crowd. Goose, the youngest of the brothers, brags on the moonshine mischiefs of himself and his kin at their hidden still nestled in the mountains. His brothers, Buck, Teeter and Skinny Bill, sit patiently by until Goose decides to “strike up a tune for the folks”. You will find their spirit contagious!

For those of you with a more serious side and who like history you may find Miss O’Shea, an actress who travels and has come into town to give a historical representation of the well-known local personage of Martha Jane Huskey Ogle facsinating, as she peaks your interest in the history of the area.

These lively characters bring the streets of Gatlinburg to life in the evening with all their stories, tall tales and songs. You will leave Gatlinburg feeling like you have been to a musical and a comedy show combined with a richness of history scattered throughtout everything you will see and feel.

The shows are performed 15 to 20 times each evening in 15 minute productions done simultaneously. They start at 5:30 in the evening and run till 10pm. The Tunes & Tales season began June 8th and will continue until September 3rd. Be sure to get into town early and eat at one of the wonderful restaurants and then take in this delightful entertainment. Great, clean family fun!

Cades Cove Is A Must For All Who Come to the Smokies

Cades Cove is an 11 mile loop one way that leads you through a scenic valley. Throughout this loop you can stop and let yourself drift back into time when life was much simplier. Visit historic cabins, churches tucked here and there and incredible wildlife is all around you. John Cable Mill is at the halfway point of the loop and offers a visitor center, where you can buy stone ground corn that is milled by a the huge water-powered millstone. Learn how food was preserved before the days of refrigeration at Elijah Oliver's spring house or visit one of the finest examples of craftmenship in the sawn log cabin built by Henry Whitehead.

Wide-open fields give you the enjoyment of viewing white-tail deer and beautiful mountains for a backdrop for those who love taking pictures. You may get a chance to see a bear, fox, turkeys or maybe even a wild boar as we did last spring. Maybe you like hiking, then Cades Cove offers you some wonderful trails. You can enjoy the beauty of Abrams Falls and the Cades Cove Nature Trail.

Cades Cove can have very heavy traffic during the summer and fall season. If possible tour Cades Cove on a weekday and arrive early in the morning to avoid delays. Bring your own food and drink, since none is provided on the Loop Road. Restrooms are located at the halfway point along with the Vistors Center. If you have never been through Cades Cove we do recommend purchasing the park's auto tour booklet so you can get a better understanding of the life that was lived in the valley so many years ago.