Wednesday, July 11, 2012

the time i saw elk! + cataloochee.


I have seen deer plenty of times, yet a spotting still makes me very giddy and excited every time it happens. However, I have never, ever seen an elk, my friends. Not even once. So, you can probably imagine my absolute excitement when we spotted not one, not two, but five elks! FIVE! I mean, honestly. I don't know why I was in such utter shock and disbelief, but I was. And, really, that just made our sightings so. much. better.

The sighting took place at Cataloochee, which is a portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The history there is sort of unbelievable. Over one thousand people were displaced in the 1900s because the area was taken over by the government as national park land. Most homes and landmarks were destroyed in order to preserve the natural state of the area. Some years later, it was determined that the buildings on the property were actually quite interesting and historical, so a handful remain. I can't imagine the simple and beautiful lives these families led before they were asked to relocate. These people had a community, a network that they knew and relied on. Churches and barns and small family cemeteries. The fact that the government took over this land in order to preserve its pristine beauty is absolutely wonderful, but I found myself wondering if the families who built their lives on the land ever found as beautiful a settlement. It would be hard to believe they did.

P.S. That concludes my North Carolina posts. I hope you enjoyed them! I certainly enjoyed recapping them and nestling that special memory here in my blog archives! xo, R.

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