Jun 2, 2012

Cherokee to Chattanooga...

From Cherokee, NC to Chattanooga was my goal and thought I would do it in one day until all these cool things popped up

So I actually ended up in  Clevland, TN at the walmart because at the Parksville public swim area I met a great lady named Desiree (spelling?). She grew up in the area and we had a great talk about how much it’s changed, what’s here now and where it’ going. We talked for a few hours on the edge of the water being eaten alive by mosquitoes. She was great and it was like talking to an old friend…which this far from home was a very good thing. I didn’t have a card on me, or so I thought, so I wished her well, told her my blog address and  can only cross my fingers that she finds me. I did have a card tucked in my bag, I found that out when I got to Clevland for the night. Made me laugh. 

From Cleveland to Chattanooga…and man was Chattanooga alright!!!

It is such a beautiful place but the tattered history of American conquest of the red man sullies it a bit. YOu know that it wouldn't be the same place if it didn't happen....but hindsight makes it look ugly (and it was) and therefore it makes you question where we are todayy

the base station for the Nanthala Gorge. Nice spot but the gorge was a bit disappointing from a whitewater perspective

I don't think he was a garter snake...

The guys back home surfing the green Tongue on the Lower Kananaskis are very lucky they haven't gone this way yet...hopefully the Bow project is all free as well

not sure why I took this...it's old :)

giant chopper

This miata was driven by a super hippy...best bumper sticker I've seen so far

This was the home of the whitewater program 1996 when the olympics were in Atlanata. I arrived when the water was turned off...it was pretty gorgeous but i sure would like to see it with the water on

Just look at it all...sculpted, controlled....the different sections looked so cool

down river view


We used to scream...Take me with you!!!

sometimes your lucky enough to get someone to take your pic...let's the peeps back home know that it's not some random person with my camera and info updating the blog


 A significant and moving moment....The Trail of Tears

An entire nation lost because a handful of greedy men signed a document for them all...no wonder they were all killed eventually

You can act tough at some stuff...but if this type of thing doesn't pull at your strings...I'm not sure what is wrong with you

 This gorgeous stained glass shows the beginning of the Trail of tears to the end...I wish I knew how to fit my panorama pics together, it really was gorgeous

              The trail of tears is the name given to the systematic removal of the Cherokee nation from it's native lands. As the note above says, picture it not as a single event but a culmination of years of greed, ignorance and deception. The trail is a part of American history that can never be removed, it showed them at their worst. When walking through Red Clay state park you see how even the natives that were reluctant to accept the white mans way of life eventually did so in order to get along with them. They adopted culture, religion, business, school...all to no avail. Andrew Jackson, the last president to thwart European bank interests and maybe the last time the US dollar was worth something laid the final blow to them by denying them the right to self governance, then banned gathering and finally laid out a plan that subdivided all of Georgia  and raffled off the land taken from the natives to rich white interests. The Cherokee in turn took the govt's offer of "moving" them to Oklahoma. There were already Cherokee in Oklahoma, those that went earlier based on other false promises from the government.
               Thousands of natives died on the long march from Georgia to Oklahoma (check out a map and be prepared to be aghast at how awful it must have been). The government did little to assist, protect or take care of those that they had just destroyed. 
               The interesting thing is that many Cherokee had fully adopted western ways even down to owning a plantation (that they had to hire a white guy to be the head of as no one would deal with a native). Nothing though was ever enough for whitey and eventually they were almost all removed. There was a tribe that stayed and resisted and for their efforts they can still call this home as they somehow survived all of the pressure put to them. 
                 To see the propaganda surrounding the natives, now a couple of hundred years later...makes me sick. While there would be no america without such an event...as America was built on such events...it makes you wonder what sort of America it could have been if respecting your fellow man was the banner they walked under as Christians instead of treating brown skins like dirt (still the same way for the most part today when you look at how they operate around the world)...then again...what would the world be like if it was different? 
              In retrospect I so appreciate the time I got to spend with the Blackfoot students at Bow Valley, time with the elder and the little bit of history they gifted me with through their stories. The life of the Native American, once connected to the earth in a beautiful harmony, will never be the same as it was before, they will never discard gas for horses, flannel for hide...but it gives you an appreciation that it could have been different if respect came first.
              Thanks Red Clay...it was a great visit

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