Photo 1: Our children sitting on the front porch step of the Ranger Station.
We made 2 stops on our way home from our daytrip to the Cherokee National Forest.
The first stop was to visit the Ranger Station. While there, the kind ladies in the office told us about Park Rangers and Park History, and then told us the entire history of Smokey The Bear. It was all quite fascinating. The children were each given coloring books and comic-type books about Smokey the Bear too, with which they were quite pleased. We looked at photos of early trail-blazing projects and road construction during the parks official formation. We saw photos of Rangers-past hard at work felling dead trees, fighting wildfires, tending to wildlife, and other sorts of jobs that fall on their shoulders still today. We also saw several nice displays of early tools, weapons, uniforms, and additional useful items (dishes, canteens, belt buckles, etc) belonging to previous Rangers dating back to the beginning of the actual "National Forest". Also there were a few items that have been found in the area that belonged to the Cherokee Indians, although we understand much more information about them and many more artifacts were visible at a museum in the next town. (the museum was closed so we will save that visit for another day)
The Ranger station also had some wonderful books for sale, three of which we purchased for our home library. The titles are:
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTH EASTERN TENNESSEE
WOODLAND FERNS OF SOUTH EASTERN TENNESSEE
BIRDS OF SOUTH EASTERN TENNESSEE
These books will be wonderful resources for our family. They are of reasonable size for carrying along, plus they are full of area-specific content. They will each be wonderful to use when we work "in the field" with our Nature Journals again (which will be soon).
After a very interesting visit to the Ranger Station, we all loaded into the car again to continue our journey home after a long day.
Of course, what DayTrip would be complete and totally wonderful without a special treat (preferably a cool one as it was 95 degrees !) .... so our very last stop of the day was in Tellico Plains by the river for an icecream cone. Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for me, Birthday Cake icecream for Cherub 2 and Cherub 4 and Cherub 5 and Cherub 6, one Olde Savannah Caramel for Cherub 3, one Blueberry Cream Pie for Cherub 1, and a Double Mint Chocolate Chip for DadToCherubs (his FAVORITE !).
What a yummy way to end a very special outing. Thank you DadToCherubs for a fantastic idea.