Sunday, July 20, 2008

Disneyland in the Smokeys

Help!! I drove 225 miles yesterday from Nashville to Pigeon Forge, not realizing that I was going to an area that makes Branson look like a rest stop. It took me almost an hour to go 5 miles due to bumper to bumper traffic from Sevierville to Pigeon Forge. The first campground I went to (from my Passport America book) looked like the set and cast from Deliverance. I quickly regrouped and ended up at the Twin Mountains campground in the middle of Pigeon Forge. OK place, centrally located to a "Disneyland" version of the Great Smokeys. Today I drove to Gatlinburg hoping to find something authentic. No such luck. I finally took a backroad and happily got lost in the mountains and met some local people and even managed to buy tomatoes off the vine from a farmstand. Thanks to my GPS, I did find my way back to the campground with a minimum of difficulty. (Thanks again Dan)

Tomorrow I am leaving this ZOO and taking Hiway 441 across the Smokey Mtns. to North Carolina. I guess this development and commercialization has been good for the mountain economy, but the resulting Circus does nothing for me. I came to the Tennessee Smokeys thinking I would find some authentic mountain music and local culture. Call me naive....I'm sure it is still here somewhere and I hope to stumble upon something real soon. Tonight I will enjoy a fresh, local tomato and listen to my own mountain music CD. That may be as good as it gets here. Sorry, no pictures....couldn't find anything I wanted to remember.

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