I spent a relaxing five days in the Smoky Mountains a week ago. I miss the slower pace, the cleaner air, and being surrounded by mountains.
We like to stay in Cherokee, North Carolina, the large tourist town on the Qualla Boundary (the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians). We stayed at the Chestnut Tree Inn (formerly the Holiday Inn) and I recommend it. The rooms were very clean and the staff helpful and friendly.
I love going to the Smoky Mountains. My family has lived in these mountains for thousands of years. The Smoky Mountains are the homeland of the Cherokees.
The next several posts on this blog will be about the Smokies. Even though the park is a large natural area, the mountains have an environmental history that is compelling and useful to know.
How the Smoky Got Their Names: “Water carried through plants is released through the leaves as a vapor. The vapor from the conifer trees of the Smokies contains terpenes, an organic chemical. As the vapor is released, the large amounts of terpenes make the smoke-like haze or mist that gives the mountains their name.” – from a sign in the Oconaluftee Visitor’s Center – Smoky Mountains National Park.