Big Cataloochee: Much like Cades Cove, this valley supported a relatively large population and actually was nearly self sustaining for many decades. From Wiki: Cataloochee is a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, located in the Southeastern United States. Now a recreational and historic area within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cataloochee was once home to a substantial Appalachian community and Cherokee hunting ground.
Elk were reintroduced into the park in February 2001 when 25 elk from the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area were released in Cataloochee. Most of the original $1.1 million cost was funded by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which provided $700,000. Elk once roamed the highlands of Southern Appalachia, but were eliminated by overhunting and loss of habitat. Elk herds are a common sight in Cataloochee in the Spring and Fall.
I am actually standing in a creek bed near the old curch building looking back at the road that disects the Cataloochee Valley.
We found out later that this old girl was sick and unable to eat the natural grasses and other mast falls available for some reason, and was susceptable to taking handouts from tourists, which is a big NO-NO.
They love apples.
We saw hundreds of turkeys over our two week journeys in the Smokies. Below is a Ruffled Grouse.
There are many such roads one can choose to cruies at a liesurely pace, and stop whenever to take it all in and breathe the fall scents of falling & decaying leaves. Just so nice here in the mountain, so primitive still.
We had just a lovely day touring around the Cataloochee Valley. We took it all in.
So, this wraps up GSMNP #3. Until next time (and the Skyway photos too), RVing Beach Bums.