Many years ago the first European settlers moved near Oconoluftee.Despite numerous hardships and doubtless bumps in the road to their new home, they persevered. As the Class of 2016 traveled to visit Oconoluftee and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, we also faced some bumps in the road, although far more minor. Multiple road closures obstructed our path as the trees did on last summer’s trip! Comparing our difficulties to those of the settlers made me realize how much easier travel is today than in colonial times. At the Oconoluftee Visitor Center I learned that common, everyday items that we take for granted would be precious in the early days. Even a lowly apple took much effort to preserve! No matter how advanced our society becomes, our humble beginnings will always make me grateful for everything I have.