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Field Expedition #2

Exploring the Cataloochee Valley

Easter weekend we took out a large group of veterans to explore the North Carolina Cataloochee Valley. During the two nights of camping, the veterans gathered around the campfire to exchange stories and fellowship. The constant rain and cold weather did not deter the groups adventuring. This trip was sponsored by Toyota Overlanders and private donations.

We were able to connect, not only with nature and the outdoor, but animals. The group stayed at a Hipcamp, hosted by Smoky Mountain Mangalista Farm. We visited with pigs, horses, cows and even a friendly dog, that became our best friend.

Visiting the Catalochee Valley, we spent some time watching the Elk's grazing in the field. We couldn't resist visiting the variety of historic buildings that have been preserved in the valley, including two churches, a school, and several homes and outbuildings. This is the best place in the park to see historic frame buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Cataloochee Valley is nestled among some of the most rugged mountains in the southeastern United States. Surrounded by 6000-foot peaks, this isolated valley was one of the largest and most prosperous settlements in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some 1,200 people lived in this lovely mountain valley in 1910. Most made their living by farming, including commercial apple growing, but an early tourism industry developed in Cataloochee with some families boarding fishermen and other tourists who wished to vacation in the mountains.

Our campsite was located along the Pigeon.

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