The Cades Cove Tour and a stop at the Wood N Strings shop.

6/3/13.. Today we wanted to do a driving tour of Cades Cove. We have heard a lot about it and was told it is a must see.

Our drive from our campground to Cades Cove was a nice one that took us out a well treed winding road through Wear Valley and Townsend.

If you remember a few weeks back I mentioned being introduced to a instrument called a dulcimer. Well one of the well known dulcimer builders just happens to be located in Townsend so we just had to stop and take a look.


The shop is called Wood N Strings and the craftsman that owns it is Mike Clemmer.

Once inside we looked around at all of the banjo’s, guitars, harps, Psalteries, and dulcimers. He even has a few didgeridoo’s as well as other  goodies.

As we walked around completely out of our element Sharon was always there to answer any questions and talk about what we were looking at. And it didn’t take long until all three of us were sitting in chairs with dulcimers in our laps.


Sharon was going to give us a 5 min version of playing a dulcimer but when we left we realized we had been there over 2 hours!! It was a lot of fun and educational.

The shop is very well known for it’s Pickin Porch out behind the shop. Every Saturday night Mike and a guest or two give a performance at 7pm. I guess up to 150 people bring there lawn chairs and gather to listen and sing along. At this point Diane and I plan to go this coming Saturday if it isn’t raining. It’s only about 16 miles from our campground so not bad.

Ok,, back to the Cades Cove tour. Once we left Mikes shop we headed out a very peaceful road that pretty much stayed along a stream until we reached the Orientation Shelter where we paid $1 for a book that would help us on our self guided tour. The book was worth a buck just for the pictures and information inside.

Cades Cove is a valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. We were told that large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.

For hundreds of years Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. By 1830 the population of the area had already swelled to 271. Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. Scattered along the loop road are three churches, a working grist mill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures.

Unfortunately again we had a bad weather day. At times it was just plain pouring!! But once we left the Orientation Shelter and began our tour on the one way 11 mile loop we put the rain out of our minds the best we could.

At first we stopped at almost every place there was something to see but after a couple stops we found ourselves pretty wet and opting to just take a good look and a few pictures.

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It was obvious before long that once again we did not have a very original idea of doing the loop today because we found ourselves stopped in a line of a few hundred cars. One thing is certain,,, and that is if Diane and I were having withdrawals of not being around many people by staying pretty much in small town America and boon docking when we can we will certainly be cured of it by the time we finish with Nashville and the Pigeon Forge area LOL!!

We were told that the hoards of people and cars are very common on the loop trail so even though we would love to make the drive around the loop again if we had a dry day I think we will pass.

About the only wildlife we saw were a few deer and turkey but we enjoyed what we did see on the trail and are glad we did it.

After Cades Cove we made our way back though Townsend and check out a couple campgrounds and then made our way back home,, had dinner,, chatted with the neighbors and kicked back the remainder of the day.

A side note about people LOL!! At this particular campground they want you to put your garbage outside and they come around and pick it up for you. A nice service.

So what do we see this morning??!! A guy walking his two little dogs and he lets them both piss on the garbage bags!!! Now doesn’t that moron know that another person is going to be coming around here pretty soon to grab those bags!!??!! I guess I should stop that rant right there LOL!!! But some of the things you see in campgrounds make you wonder. I guess that’s one reason we like boon docking or staying in small campgrounds like we do. Less chance of seeing stupid crap like that.

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