Oconaluftee Valley II by Gary L   Suddath

Such a bittersweet site. The beautiful fall colors down the valley can be breathtaking. Gone though is the smoke rising from the villages along the river. Gone are those who once occupied the valley floor along what now is called the Oconaluftee River. Gone are the people that lived here for hundreds if not thousands of years. In about 1540 the first Europeans are thought to have encountered these people the Cherokee. Later in the 1600’s Europeans started venturing into their lands and settling. Many adopted Cherokee ways and fit into the Cherokees life of harmony with nature and personal freedom. They adapted and lived off the land,traded and married with the Cherokee. Then came larger and larger influx of immigrates. Treaties were signed and broken for 200 years. Finally under President Andrew Jackson, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. In 1838 began a forced removal of the Cherokee from their lands to Oklahoma. Some 16-17,000 started out on the brutal marched from Georgia, about a forth died along the way. This forced removal later became known as the “Trail Of Tears”. They were some though, who were able to hold out. They hid in the mountains and valleys of the Smokies, or returned later from the Oklahoma Territory. Their children’s, children still live at the end of the valley today in what is called the Qualla Boundary. They are the Eastern Band of Cherokee. If you are around Cherokee NC, their way of life has been preserved at the Oconaluftee Indian Village…. This ancient valley is viewed from the Newfound Gap Road, U.S.441 GSMNP, just south of the gap on the North Carolina side. The overlook is on the right side if coming from Tennessee….best viewed large


  • DavidMark
    DavidMarkover 6 years ago

    … just like this one, Gary! A fabulous shot with great depth. Well done!

  • Krys Bailey
    Krys Baileyover 6 years ago

    Now THAT is a view to savour!!! Love the distant haze which serves to accentuate the glorious autumn colours of the foreground! The pano crop is great too!

  • photosbylefty
    photosbyleftyover 6 years ago

    excelent work Gary, and thanks for the bit of history

  • budrfli
    budrfliover 6 years ago

    majestic panorama,and yes bittersweet with the history of the “trail of tears”

  • Pat Abbott
    Pat Abbottover 6 years ago

    What a gorgeous view! Love this one!

  • Darlene Ruhs
    Darlene Ruhsover 6 years ago

    WOW, what a view!! It’s like staring at forever…

  • Antanas
    Antanasover 6 years ago

    Fantastic capture

  • Chuck Wickham
    Chuck Wickhamover 6 years ago

    I’ve spent many hours enjoying this view…now I don’t have to drive up the mountain to see it!

  • ChrisMSnyder
    ChrisMSnyderover 6 years ago

    Love it Gary. I just took a shot from there a little more than a week ago. I wish it was this good!

  • denise romano
    denise romanoover 6 years ago

    gorgeous !!!!! looks like home : )

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