Sunday, December 1, 2019

MUSEUM OF THE CHEROKEE INDIAN POW WOW

  Geni and I drove the 55 miles thru GSMNP and stopped in at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, NC. They were having a festival at the main fair grounds with carnival rides and wonderful food. They were displaying all of their hand made pottery, blankets, bead work, photos and many more incredible displays. They also had a stickball game going with authentic pow wow dancing.
LINK:    https://www.cherokeesmokies.com/history_culture.html
                                                                                       
Museum Entrance
1st place rug


1st place tomahawk
                                                                                               
                                                                              

Museum arrowheads



Cherokee trading goods

Hand made baskets

The Trail of tears starts here
In 1838 our government forced the Cherokee Nation to leave their homeland and put them on reservations in Oklahoma. They walked over 5000 miles and many died along the way
LINK: https://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/trail-of-tears


The most beautiful and detailed pottery I have ever seen!

A Indian Taco



Cherokee Nation stickball game, This game is VERY physical ! Its Football, Lacrosse, Wresting , all together. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Cherokee+Stickball+Game&&view=detail&mid=492D33D5F0F2158E546F492D33D5F0F2158E546F&&FORM=VDRVRV



The only wild Elk heard East of the Mississippi is in GSMNP
 LINK: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/elk.htm


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Hiking and Waterfalls in the GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS

 Our time here in Tennessee is running short the weather is starting to get a bit chilly. Geni and I had a wonderful Summer here in the Great Smoky Mountains. We did keep busy I did a few days of flea markets and Geni worked in the campground office a few days a week. We did find time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors here also. There is over one hundred waterfalls in the National park to visit and our goal is to see them all at some point in time. Here are a few that we did visit this summer.

 We also found an awesome lodge that the forest service built when they built Fontana dam in the 1940's on the west side of the park that is visited much less by tourist, we spent the night and really enjoyed the beautiful views and peace and quiet.
The GSMNP is full of these mountain streams
Fall in the Great Smoky Mt National Park



Fontana Lodge lobby
The Appalachian Trail crosses the dam
A Irish wedding at the dam, What incredible music a bagpipe makes!


Lodge

The BEST shelter on the AT







Midnight Hole falls

Mouse Falls


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Brushy Mountain State Prison - THE END OF THE LINE

  Way up in the hollows of Tennessee stands a large fortress named  Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary that opened  in 1896 and closed in 2009. It was a Maximum security prison that was one of the worst places you could land serving your sentence! It was called "THE END OF THE LINE"! 
  When it first opened IN 1896 it used prison labor to mine the local coal mines, if you didn't dig 2 tons a day you got strung up on a pole in the main yard and got whipped! Or you got strung up by your thumbs and put in THE HOLE,  a 8' X 6' totally dark cell in the basement where after a few days you would go blind from the darkness! Prisoners were housed four to a cell designed for two inmates. Two would be at the mine and two would be in their cell on a constance rotation. The prison was designed to hold 600 prisoners and at one time housed 1100 prisoners!
  Its most famous prisoner was  James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr., and one of the only ones to ever escape this place, notable inmates included Bryon Looper, who was convicted in 2000 for the murder of State Senator Tommy Burks and began serving his life sentence at Brushy Mountain. In the novel The Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Hannibal Lecter makes a deal in which he is to be transferred to the prison in exchange for information about the serial killer Buffalo Bill that would enable authorities to rescue his latest victim.
 It now is open to the public for tours and also has a moonshine bar and a nice cafĂ© along with a few classic car shows and concerts in the Summer.
 Geni and I enjoyed walking around this prison, it takes two to three hours and we were lucky we hooked up with a old guard to explain to us the history of this dark place, and are very glad we did not spend time here!
                                      
                                                 





30 days IN THE HOLE



Outdoor Basketball court

Prison art in a cell

most famous prisoner





Shanks

THE HOLE



Outdoor court yard where James Earl Ray escaped over the wall 

Cell block

Cell Art



Artwork in Galley

Kitchen


Galley artwork
Galley artwork


counting the days!



Chapel

James Earl Ray's cell