Last week we took some time off and visited The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. My goodness!! What an amazing treat that was. The beginning of fall was slightly warmer than usual this year so the leaves have been a little late changing their colors. That actually worked to our advantage. Even though it was the first week of November, we hit the fall foliage at peak. What an incredible sight! No one can outdo God's handiwork.
As we were hiking trails and enjoying nature's beauty, we observed several signs that were placed on structures that had been built by the CCC. (I'm about to go into a history lesson.......sorry! I have a Masters degree in history so sometimes I can't refuse sharing and talking about things I love) A lot of people are not familiar with the CCC or the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was part of his New Deal plan to help aid families and provide jobs during the Great Depression. It was slightly controversial at the time because a lot of people looked at the jobs provided as a "hand out." Let me assure you.....it was not. The men that worked in the corps labored incredibly hard. They built roads, bridges, trails, and a myriad of other structures that we still enjoy today. They were paid 25.00 dollars a month. However, it was mandated that 22.00 dollars of the money they earned be sent back home to their families. During a time when families were literally starving and just trying to survive, that 22.00 was huge.
The CCC was a program that helped modernize and shape state and national parks that were already established, as well as to create new ones. The government continued to use the CCC building dams, bridges, and flood control projects such as the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) which helped control land erosion, drainage problems, reforesting of trees, and forest fires.
Probably the MOST amazing aspect to me about the CCC is that the men who served were trained in surroundings much like boot camp. They had a drill instructor or a sergeant that kept them in line on a daily basis. They learned how to follow orders and live in a military type unit long before WW2 broke out only a few years later. Those same men who served in the CCC were ready and in many ways already trained to serve their country. I cannot help but feel like God used the CCC as a stepping stone or a training tool for war. Pretty incredible! The next time any of you have the privilege of visiting any of our Nation's treasures, be sure to think about the CCC and the gifts they still provide us today.
Sorry about the history lesson........next week I'll get back to what is going on here on the farm. Until then, here are a few pictures from the Smokies. If you have never been, I highly recommend it!