Hiking to the Walker Sister’s Cabin in the Smokies!

hiking the smokies
Fred and I before we headed out on the hike

It’s been another busy week for Wes and I here in the Smoky Mountains! We’re just about to finally get caught up on everything after being gone much of this month, and I must admit that I can’t wait to pick up my paintbrush again! Although poor Wes couldn’t come along, because of computer work and a phone interview, I went with friends Fred and Pat on a hike this past Wednesday. Our destination was the historical Walker Sisters’ Cabin, one of few such cabins that remain in the Smokies today. We met friends Mark and Janet, as well as a very nice group of people who call themselves the “Wednesday Hikers” at the parking lot in Metcalf Bottoms. Mark and Janet have done much studying on the history of the Walker family, and graciously led us on a hike, giving us a wonderful history lesson along the way. We didn’t arrive at the cabin via the traditional road, but took the road less traveled, which served as the main road many, many years ago. Since it’s no longer used, it is completely overgrown and I must say that I was totally amazed how Mark easily found his way along it! As he led the way, the group of us followed trustingly behind, realizing we were not valiant bushwhackers, but were indeed being at times “bushwhacked” ourselves! Nonetheless, we bravely marched on, stopping occasionally to see the remains of a family’s past way of life and existence in the back woods of the mountains. Chimney fells, old wash tubs, remains of part of the metal rung off of a sled, all told interesting stories of what had come before us!

rachelle siegrist on the trail to walker sister's cabin
Pat and I test driving this little beauty we found along the way!

We felt like we had somehow magically slipped back in time as we went along walking this old “mountain road”, picturing what it must’ve been like for them all those years ago. The neat part was that Mark and Janet had photographs of some of the cabins, and we looked at them while standing by what remained of the old stone chimney, and that really seemed to bring the historical sites to life! A couple of hours later, we left the thick of the woods behind and walked into the clearing where the Walkers’ beautiful cabin, corn crib and spring house still stand. The original part of the cabin was built in the 1940s, and another section was added to the cabin at a later date. The few times Wes and I have hiked to the cabin, we did so via the smooth sailing road that serves as the trail today. Somehow, it was much more exciting and magical, coming to the front of the house after having walked through the woods. You almost expected to see smoke slowly rising from the chimney, hear chickens clucking and  a milk cow softly mooing. It was a gorgeous sunny day with blue skies above, as we made our way to the inviting front porch where I quickly searched and found a nice sunny spot to sit in and enjoy my peanut butter and raisin sandwich.

Walker Sister Cabin in the smokies
The picturesque setting of the Walker Sisters Cabin
hiking the smokies
Mmmmm . . . peanut butter and raisin sandwich time!
hiking the smokies
Fred and Pat resting and enjoying lunch on the porch

It was delicious as always, and we had a nice relaxing time just sitting on the porch, enjoying the peaceful setting, which we were immersed in. For dessert, Pat had brought some delicious chocolate covered pretzels, which she kindly shared with Fred, and I, which was a real treat! After taking several photos of the historical mountain homestead, for a possible future miniature painting, we left and followed Janet back into the woods following our footsteps, which brought us there earlier. Before long we met up with Mark and the others, and upon telling the Wednesday Hiker group good bye, the remaining five of us went to find and see a couple more sites where houses once stood, one being of one of the sisters, Caroline Walker and her husband. After a short hike through the dense woods we met back up with the “new” road, and casually walked the remaining distance back to Metcalf Bottoms picnic area, where we had started our journey earlier that morning.

hiking in the smokies
Part of an old plow, as well as other things
old chimney in the Smoky Mountain National Park
What remains of one of the old chimney at a homesite
oold homesites in the smoky mountain national park
An old wash tub and other remains at yet another historical homesite
old wood stove in the smokies
Part of what was a beautiful woodstove at one time
hiking in the smokies
The Walker Sisters’ corn crib

When we returned to the parking lot, Mark showed us a notebook containing several interesting photos of the Walker family and the family cabin as well as other cabins and individuals living in the area at that time. Leaving there, we followed Mark and Janet to an old cemetery to see where the five Walker sisters, as well as other family members are buried. All in all, it simply was a delightful day, and visit to the past! Many thanks again to Mark and Janet, for taking the time to lead us all on this informative and fun hike!

hiking in the smokies
A most interestingly shaped tree along the old road

I’ve spent quite a bit of time this past week feeding worms to Peedeepeeps, my Carolina Wren, and peanut crunchies to all my other feathered and furry friends. Stubb’s , my Tufted Titmouse, is very happy I’m home and able to carry out his personal bowl of nut crunchies! We also enjoyed a wonderful visit from Wes’ childhood friend Jim, and his family, as well as a couple of their friends. After a tour of our house and of course, art collection, I spent time drawing with their daughter Breanna. We drew horses and were both pretty pleased with the outcome. Wes and I sent some art materials home with her, hoping to encourage her to continue in her art career. Wes’ parents arrived at our house this afternoon in time to unpack their things, and go help our friends Fred and Barb take down their art display at our local visitor center here in Townsend. Afterwards we all enjoyed a yummy pizza at Pizza Hut.

~ Exciting news!!! ~

We learned this past week that another museum has been officially added to our ongoing tour, EXQUISITE MINIATURES! The Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma, KS will host our exhibition June 4th thru September 3rd, 2017.

Stauth Memorial Museum

To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html

Immortalize your loved one or a beloved pet in miniature!
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Until next time ~ Rachelle

4 thoughts on “Hiking to the Walker Sister’s Cabin in the Smokies!

  1. Don Weiser

    Hi Folks, Happy Thanksgiving!!! COLD here, 19 I think. I didnt even notice that Fred was taller in this photo but the mutual laughing should have given me a clue. 🙂 Anyone there (Wes?) interested in a Roku box that would hook to your TV and allow Netflix streaming to it? I was thinking for you for Christmas. I think Ive asked once before and you said you were happy watching on your MacBook but they have some good deals right now. Don

    > >

    1. Thanks Don, same to you! It was in the low 20’s here, and very cold!! Yea, you should’ve figured out Fred and I were up to something . . ha ha! I’ll pass the Roku info onto Wes.
      Keep warm 🙂

  2. Found this while doing some family research, nicely done Rachelle. The sisters are my great great aunts. I haven’t been to the cabin since I was a kid. Great to see folks still enjoying it.

    -Craig Walker

    1. Thank you Craig!
      Wow . . . That is so neat about them being your great aunts!!! We love hiking there and sitting on their front porch while eating our peanut butter sandwiches! We’ve made many happy memories there, and even built a snowman in the yard once!
      Rachelle 😊

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