Have you heard of the Blue People of Kentucky? The Fugates? I hadn’t until a few years ago when I was looking up information on the Appalachian Mountains that compose Great Smoky Mountain National Park…it was an obscure reference, so of course I had to look into it! Yes these people really had blue-tinted skin! What the what?!! Watch a Video about the Blue People
It turns out two people living in Kentucky in the 1820’s, Martin Fugate and and Elizabeth Smith, married and had kids. Both of the Fugates had the recessive gene that causes the chocolate brown blood and blue-tinted skin. Four of their seven kids had blue skin. Fortunately there are no physical health problems related to having blue skin.
And so the saga of the blue skin people took hold. Because there wasn’t a lot of travel, or opportunity for the same, there were many marriages of people who were already related; this caused more babies to be born with blue skin. As these people from the Troublesome Creek area started traveling and branching out they would marry others who didn’t have this recessive gene, so the blue skin people were no longer as common. However, as recent as the 1970’s a descendant of the Fugates was born with blue skin.
It’s that time of year again – Leaf Season in Gatlinburg. That’s what the locals call it. For the rest of the country it is simply Fall or Autumn of course. Where I live in the upper Midwest we say we are going to see the colors. Apparently, and I just learned this, in Europe they do not have the oranges and reds we have. They only have yellow leaves in the Fall. So I guess we are fortunate to have a lovely display no matter where we have seasons and deciduous trees in the Fall.
We’ve been to the cabin at all different times of the Fall and my favorite is the last week of October into the first week of November. That is when you’ll see the colors in the lower elevations, like right off the cabin porch! BONUS!
A view from a porch
We’ve also been to the south end of the park to Oconoluftee. It’s worth the trip, especially if you are there later in the day when the elk show up. That was a real treat! There is a trail in the woods there where you walk right along the river, and you can take your dog/s. One of only two trails in the park that allows dogs. I’ve not done it but others tell me it’s beautiful and they even spied Elk grazing.
So go, enjoy the colors, Fall, Leaf Season – or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods.
I’ve heard that Gatlinburg as a wedding location is second only to Las Vegas. And I wouldn’t doubt it with the number of chapels in the area. You see them on the main roads and the back roads. Some are really fancy, and others are simple little chapels. Some couples get married on a mountain or in a vacation cabin.
In addition to the number of chapels as proof you can always spot newly-wedded couples by the congratulatory messages painted on their car windows. Lots of the stores have trinkets and treasures geared to the honeymooners as well. The local salons cater some of their services to brides and the bridal party. There is a huge bridal store on the main road into Gatlinburg, and there are even bridal shops where you can rent gowns, tuxes, and whatever else you may need!
One must admit The Smoky Mountains as a wedding venue is beautiful, and what better place to profess your love and begin a lifetime with the one you love than in the mountains? Need to convince your intended to marry you in the Smoky Mountains? Perhaps the links below will help.
Jim Eastin Weddings
Start planning your wedding here
Stuff to know about getting married in TN
Image via Wikipedia
Do you want a quiet vacation in Gatlinburg – January is apparently the time. We are here for a long weekend and the crowds are non-existent. The weather is great, 50-60 degrees during the day. The neighborhood we are staying in has very little activity, not a lot of people renting the cabins this time of year. So if you want a quiet vacation in Gatlinburg, January will serve you well.
That’s what they call Fall in the Smoky Mountains, and the colors are spectacular!! We were able to vacation at the end of leaf season last year, and the colors were way better than our fall colors in the upper midwest. The funny thing is all the locals kept saying it was too bad we missed the colors a week earlier. And yet we were thrilled with the beauty of the trees in early November. This is my favorite shot from that trip – taken on a hike in the Roaring Fork area.
You can find them at the Chimneys picnic area in the park. I’m told this part of the Smoky Mountain National Park has some of the oldest trees in the park, virgin hardwoods.
It was a beautiful day when I visited. It was a little chilly but most importantly it was foggy. So when you walked through the forest it was very quiet, as if you were in a room created by fog with just trees all around. Very few people were there, it was an ethereal experience. The trees and the fog made for some fun snapshots.
Right now I’m missing my adopted home state of Tennessee. I really love Gatlinburg and all the things you can do in the area, and I love that if I don’t want to do any of those things, I can just sit in my cabin and enjoy it.
I’ll be there soon enough as I have a vacation planned with some friends, but I must admit I’m really anxious to get to Tennessee. Today I was talking to some friends and one of them has been to the Smoky Mountains so we got to talking about the Park and all the cool things to do and see. Big mistake on my part, now I’m missing Tennessee. 😦
Find this on the Roaring Forks Motor Nature Trail