Thankfully Les felt better this morning – good thing since we had a full day ahead of us! We headed to what I guess in downtown Cherokee to the Qualla Arts and then across the street to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. It was one of the best museums’ I’d been to in a long time – and I think that was the longest I spent at a museum, actually reading the exhibits! One of the most fascinating characters was a man by the name of Lt Henry Timberlake, who was not Cherokee, but lived with them for 3 months (among doing other things) and wrote a memoir of his time. There were excerpts of the book in part of the display – talk about a teaser…I can’t wait to settle down with the book!
After that we spent our day running in and out (mostly out) of gift shops – it amazed us how a town that small could support so many shops selling the same touristy junk. Of course there was one that had a bunch of old signs piled beside the building – Les had to ask what they were doing with them and left his card if the owners are interested in selling them. Aside from strapping them to the roof of my little Civic, I’m not sure how we’ll get them home!
We went to Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby mine and tried our hands at sapphire & ruby mining. We went through a gallon bucket and have a nice baggie of what they told us are rubies, some nice size sapphires, and even an emerald. I can’t wait to see how they clean up.
After dinner, where I had my first Indian taco (chili on a piece of fry bread), we ended the day at Harrah’s casino – my first time in one. Les introduced me to slot machines. After walking around trying to find a penny slot that spoke to me –
I found the Mustang machines! Les and I settled in to lose some money. After a few minutes of pushing a button, we had each lost $5 – that was enough for me. I can’t see how people were able to sit there for hours at a time – my patience and lack of attention span sent us hurrying to the exit and the peacefulness of the cabin.