Wednesday was beautiful, but very hot and humid. We need water! Let's go to Splash Country! Gary went in every attraction with Lance, who once again, was fearless (unlike Poppy, who was very fearful when Lance decided to disappear under water for awhile).
He found him this time...
Lance had a ball, doing the 100 foot waterfall (the video is too long for here) and Poppy's favorite, the Lazy River. We left a little early to get cleaned up for a trip to Cherokee, NC. Donna, Ron and we had visited here before, remember? But we had tickets for the village tour and the play, "Unto These Hills" for the evening when we would all be together again. On our way, there was a small herd of elk on the side of the road. Rangers were standing by to make sure no one bothered them. A few of them had collars, which we assumed were a tagging system. They were oblivious of the onlookers:
By the time we arrived, the place was closing, but the manager remembered us and let us wander around. We met a few Cherokees and Lance asked some interesting questions. Here he is in front of a cabin with a black bear skin (from a two year old bear).
We watched how canoes were made, the council house, the Sweat House (alias: hospital and cold weather house - it's underground) and talked with a trader and two soldiers.
On to dinner with the Monroes, et al, and then parked at the museum for the bus ride up to the outdoor theatre. Unto These Hills (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unto_These_Hills) is the sad story of the Cherokee of the Eastern region up to their removal in 1838 via the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. But as one Cherokee replied when I mentioned how wrong that was, "That is in the past. We now live in the present".
There is an Eternal Flame placed at the entrance in a glass box. It was kindled from a flame at a Cherokee Council fire in Oklahoma that has been burning since 1838. The original flame was carried on the Trail of Tears as the Cherokee Nations were moved west.
Unfortunately, the play has been changed over the fifty years since its inception, and we were all too tired to make it to the end. Since we came by bus, and the buses didn't run until the end of the play, we all decided to walk down to our parking spots. We look at it as an adventurous bonding time - walking together in the dark on the road. It wasn't far, and we jumped into our vehicles for our ride home over the mountains [again]. We spotted not one, but two gray foxes peering curiously at us, then turning tail and slinking away. Got home around 10:30 pm and fell into bed after checking the medal status. Early up tomorrow for a REAL adventure! Stay tuned!