Mom (Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, 11/24/1932 - 12/27/2000) and Dad (Earl Ferrell, 9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) took us boys (four of us born from 1960 to 1973) to Cades Cove every now and then. Later in life, Mom and Dad visited Cades Cove, by themselves, several times.
The last conversation that Dad and I had, before he joined Mom, was about he and I taking a trip to Cades Cove. He looked forward to our trip together. We never got to take that trip. Dad is enjoying time with Mom, and many others, in the Heavenly Cove – which must be more beautiful than Cades Cove.
Inspiration for this Article
Every few days, I stop by to read or listen a while, at "Blind Pig & the Acorn," where there's a fresh article daily. I stopped by earlier today, to catch up on new articles, since my last visit.
Among the great new articles, one caught my eye with the most interest. It is “John McCaulley – Cades Cove,” Blind Pig & the Acorn, 7/27/2022. Tipper wrote:
Cades Cove is one of the most visited places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, if not the most. It’s never been a favorite place of mine; in fact I’ve only visited the area one time.
Cades Cove is stunningly beautiful. The views will literally take your breath away. There’s old buildings and other interesting things to see, and lots of folks who want to see them. The area is often crowded to the point of cars sitting still in a long line trying to catch a glimpse of the landscape, buildings, and wildlife.
I prefer the solitude of the backwoods, the high ridges, and the deep dark hollers.
Tipper, I agree with you! If you could visit Cades Cove, without all the traffic, it would be much more pleasant. (My “Cades Cove 2007” section, below, explains.)
Cades Cove, John McCaulley (1880 - 1961)
Tipper's 7/27/2022 article references Donnie Laws' YouTube Channel, “APPALACHIA: Donnie Laws East Tennessee Outdoors: History & Stories of Appalachia.” Donnie Laws has five years worth of videos on Appalachian history and stories! I'd not hear of him before, but I'm glad to know about his website now! I may add his YouTube channel to my “Appalachian Heritage” section.
Donnie Laws published “Appalachia History of Cades Cove the John McCaulley Story,” 7/19/2022. It is a 28-minute presentation on:
Story and life of John McCaulley and his life in the Cades Cove from 1880 till he left it in 1937. A rare audio interview with him from 1960.
John McCaulley (1880 - 1961) begins to speak, in his 1960 interview, about five minutes into the video. John McCaulley was interviewed a year before he passed. John McCaulley and his wife had nine children. Donnie Laws comments before and after the 1960 interview with John McCaulley.
Please pause from reading the rest of this article, until you watch and listen to Donnie Laws' presentation that I have referenced.
Cades Cove 2007
Didn't you enjoy that presentation? I thought that you would!
My July 14, 2022, article mentioned Clingman's Dome, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I searched my website and found “no posts matching the query: Cades Cove.” Since my first article (3/6/2006), I've never written about Cades Cove? I was shocked! I wrote 28 articles in 2006 and three in 2008. I wrote nary an article in 2007.
Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I have taken a number of weekend getaways -- staying in a cabin near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We've hiked several trails. One weekend was Friday, June 29, to Monday, July 2, 2007. We visited Cades Cove, and I took sixteen photographs. The following are two that I selected.
As I recall, the view is looking southeast. The weather was warm and partly cloudy. The photograph does not fully capture the amazing panoramic view, which my mind retains.
The cabin was located just off the south loop. I think a shed (partial view) was to the left of me – not the outhouse, which was around back, as I recall. While we explored the cabin interior, I imagined who had lived in the cabin and what their lives were like – until the government forced them off their land, which had been taken from the Cherokees. (See my July 14, 2022, article.)
Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove our 2000 Toyota Camry (the car that we had at the time). I either rode along or got out and “hiked” the road – depending on how slow or fast the line of cars that we were in was moving. I had on my hiking shoes and ball cap. I had my canteen with me. I hiked much of the eleven-mile loop road, with a sidetrack or two in the cove. It was easier to hike than to sit, crawling along, in our car.
Cades Cove is beautiful and inspiring – except for the traffic. On Wednesdays, from May 4th through September 28th, of this year, the park restricts vehicles. Visitors may either walk or bicycle the eleven-mile loop road (which is paved). I wonder if my wife and I will hike Cades Cove on a Wednesday one of these days. I doubt it. The route from the house to Cades Cove, which I'd take, is about a two-hour drive, one way. We'd have to overnight in a cabin, on Tuesday, hike Cades Cove on Wednesday, and return home. Molly, our doggy, would miss us. I don't know if we could take Molly along. We will see. The park needs to set Saturdays, not Wednesdays, as the day for hikers or bicyclers. That's my opinion. Feel free to make it your own!
Like John McCaulley (1880 - 1961), Papaw Marion Ferrell (4/13/1880 - 11/21/1970) was also born in 1880. Papaw Ferrell lived his life in the Cave Springs area of Hawkins County, Tennessee. His wife, Mollie Gertrude Archer Ferrell (11/30/1892 - 6/11/1971), and he had eight children that lived past infancy. Their eighth child was my father. I was born in 1960 – the same year that John McCaulley was interviewed. The following is a photograph of Granny and Papaw Ferrell, in their younger years.
Cades Cove is down right pretty. The Cherokee lived in the cove, from time immemorial. Settlers took the cove from the Cherokee. The government took the cove from the settlers' descendants. Life goes on – sometimes – but not often – for the good. Just give me a horse and a dirt road, and let me live in the cove – the Heavenly Cove.
Dad has everlasting joy, with Mom and many others, in the Heavenly Cove. The last conversation that Dad and I had, before he passed, was about our plan to visit Cades Cove together.
Dad, tell Mom, and all the others up there, that I'm coming up to walk in the Cove with you! Well, I don't reckon that I'll get there today, but my plan is to get there – by God's grace and my faith response!