I have been told a few things since moving here, the most blatant phrase being “you ain’t from around here, are you?”
It’s been said that I’m poor as a snake, which I know has nothing to do with the country’s slow economic growth. I’m just on the skinny side. I’ve also heard that I’d argue with a fence post. I’d adamantly disagree with this, but we’re all entitled to our own opinions.
This leads me to the apprehension I felt after submitting my last article. Here I am, barely knowledgeable of the South and I’m taking on the task of writing about this area.
What was I thinking?
Well, as it turns out, I was thinking quite well, thank you. I had many readers come up to me and encourage me, along with giving me ideas and advice. I’ve even had emails leading me in the right direction. The opinions I was so apprehensive to hear were actually wonderful and helpful.
Oddly enough, it all started with tea and barbeque. A particular gentleman I know thinks I should clear up two misconceptions relevant to this area. To me, a barbeque is a social gathering involving hot dogs and hamburgers. Apparently, I am mistaken. That’s actually considered a cookout and involves grilling – and barbeque sauce has nothing to do with changing the cookout to a barbeque. Food cooked quickly with high heat is grilling. Low heat and never-ending waiting make a barbeque.
The second misconception is tea. When you ask for tea you receive a tall glass of ice-cold sweet tea. There is no option for sweet or unsweetened tea like there is further west. And if you want hot tea you need to head north, or make your own.
It was also suggested by others that I dig a bit into the history of Cherokee. I’ve learned the obvious – that Cherokee County was named after the Cherokee Indians. I also discovered that ten years prior to the naming of the county, there was a chief with the name of Pathkiller. The history of Cherokee County can be quite disheartening and I find it sad that so much of the Cherokee culture was altered during this time, but the history is captivating nonetheless.
I would really like to be able to explore some of the caves that the tribes’ inhabited, but sadly I haven’t had an opportunity to see them. This is mainly because most people I know have the same input about caves. “Have you ever seen a movie about caves that ended well?”
I do know that in DeKalb County, visitors can explore the Sequoyah Caverns. If no one will give me a tour of any local caves, I may be taking the small trip to see the Sequoyah Caverns (yes – that might be considered a dare).
I did manage to take a trip to Little River Canyon, which happens to be one of my favorite parts of Cherokee County. Not only is it wonderfully preserved, but it’s like stepping back in time, and let’s face it: occasionally we all need a breather from the day-to-day world.
There are trails and paths to walk, places to see that seem untouched by time, and for $3 (or $10 for a seasonal pass) you can pack up the whole family and spend the day swimming and barbequing – Oops! I mean grilling.
I plan on digging deeper into the history of this county, and would love to hear any stories about this area that you may have to share with me. I also intend to continue looking out for locations and attractions that have as much meaning or flair as the stories of Cherokee County’s past. Next month I will be visiting Cornwall Furnace and with the help of the Historical Society I will be able to gain more insight about that era.
Cherokee County, you have my full attention.