NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Friday, April 20, 2012


We stayed at the Flaming Arrow Campground while in Cherokee. The owner was very nice and helpful, the campsite was roomy but a little bit difficult to get into and get out of. The road through the campground had tight corners and was not big enough for two to be on it at the same time, which could present a problem on the long approach driveway if someone was leaving and checking in at the same time. Not the most scenic of spots with mobile homes all around the outer perimeter of this somewhat small campground, but there really aren't many choices in Cherokee. If we're ever in this area again we'll stay at the campground we saw at exit 20 in the Maggie Valley area and check out the Cataloochee area of GSMNP instead of coming in through the Cherokee entrance.

We came to Cherokee because I was curious about my Cherokee heritage. My grandmother's grandmother was Cherokee, and I have no information on her except her name and date of birth and death. I was hoping there was some sort of genealogy records here, and when I asked at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian it seemed like the answer was probably not much in the way of official documentation. They had a book in which they looked up the last name I had, but they didn't find record of it and said she was most likely from the Western Band of Cherokees who had made the migration from here to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. I had read a book on John Ross and the Trail of Tears before our trip, and it didn't occur to me that her story probably began in Oklahoma. Those dates are important! However, the story of the Cherokee indian did begin here.

 The museum itself was a disappointment, but I didn't regret the $10 admission fee if it helps them update their facility and improve it. Not a lot of artifacts or information, and the lighting was so poor I was unable to get decent photographs of what little they did have. They also relied heavily on exhibits that were recordings of people's stories, which is how their people communicate, but I am a visual learner and walked right through those exhibits because there wasn't much (if anything) at them to engage me, and no written version of the story being told that I could read myself instead.

The town was very rundown looking, and chock full of tacky shops and amusements. It seemed the only thing shiny and new was the huge casino, besides the local schools and Head Start facility which were pretty amazing and I'm assuming the casino invested in.  Shoplifting seemed to be a big problem with signs warning about prosecution front and center everywhere we went. Very sad as this problem is most likely linked to the casino.

The only thing in town we did enjoy was the smattering of bears painted for auction. I always like finding these guys. I've seen horses in Lake Geneva, bears in Maine, sturgeons in Door County, and a few I've most likely forgotten.


  1. We stayed at Happy Holiday RV Village in Cherokee and it was absolutely gorgeous with easy-in pull-thrus. We were there about 2 weeks and loved it. Glad you enjoyed your time overall; it's a lovely area we would like to visit again.

  2. One of my greats was a doctor to the Cherokee Tribe and married a Cherokee woman. Her name was Caledonia (obvously not her Cherokee name). Would be fun to learn more! The museum sounds like it needs funding.