Day three of our Cherokee trip we stayed in town exploring the shops and museums. Hard to shop with Scruffy in tow but I am not one to buy all the touristy trinkets. I like to collect the pennies you can engrave, patches for our vests, Harley Davidson poker chips and of course postcards. The main thing I collect are experiences and photographs. There is always something beautiful to see! The Oconaluftee Island Park was a destination on our itinerary and it was absolutely fantastic. The river runs right through town, Scruffy enjoyed wading in the water, reminded me of the creeks we had near my hometown in Connecticut. We used to spend hours wading in the water, or just crossing the creek, hopping from one river rock to another, literally just to get across and back for the fun of it. The sound of the creek while we ate our picnic lunch was just what we needed to de stress from our daily grind. The park itself seemed to go on and on, the interesting thing we found was the bamboo forest opposite the water. There was a beautiful shaded path to walk through that stretched as far as the eye could see. There were so many side paths cut out as if someone were building a maze of sorts. Tucked away in one of those sections was a carving of a bear. A sort of bamboo forest mascot. We had so much fun exploring this park. If you are ever staying close by, pack a lunch and spend some downtime here, you won’t regret it!