day 98
pigeon forge, tennessee

"I'm kind of hoping it's not open, so we have a good excuse." -k.
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Hollywood it Ain't:
Admission: $31.00
Parking: $5.00

Scariest Attraction:
Tennessee Tornado: You're sitting on a couch in your trailer and it suddenly gets picked up in a tornado. The trailer twists and spins in this crazy thrill ride!

Yummiest Attraction:
Grist Mill: See how gristle is made!

Strangest Attraction:
Tinker: The 17-foot talking Christmas Tree. Looks like the Garbage Heap from Fraggle Rock.

Did we go? Are you kidding?

Kenny Rogers Lookalike of the Day

This is Ross.
Ross needs discipline. He kept us up half the night by inexplicably trying to smash his tent by shaking it above his head. And screaming.

How did we know his name? Simple. Every time there was a scream, it was immediately followed by "Shut up Ross!"

Our advice: take a Jerry Springer Boot Camp class or something, kid.
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Comin' Round the Mountain
Dec 2 - You could say that we live in a world of denial. No, not denial. Logic. Perhaps a skewed logic, knowing us, perhaps not. Most probably, a logic that dominates most 21st century urban dwelling westerners way of thinking. The same logic that makes you smack your face against the supermarket door because you're expecting it to open.

We're not blind, we saw the signs. "Highway Closed To Gatlinburg"

We thought this meant that the road around Gatlinburg was closed in the winter, as our Rand McNally also told us. It was beyond our comprehension that they would close the only road to Tennessee that goes through the Smoky Mountains. Why on earth would anyone do a thing like that? After all, quoth Logic, wouldn't that put a serious dent in the attendance to Dollywood's Christmas Spectacular?

Of course it would. Close the road... Pah! Never. We kept on going.

Sure enough, Tennessee was closed.

Feeling Smart?
If so, then why is one side of this road darker than the other side? Think you know?
If that's what they're really doing, shouldn't the signs be a little bit more explanatory? I mean, if they really wanted to get it across that you can't get there from here, wouldn't you say something like this:

"You Cannot Get Through The Mountains",

"Road to Tennessee Closed, Take Extremely Long Detour",

...or even a simple... "Go Around".

All of these signs would have made it so much clearer that we could not get through the mountains. Much more so than "Highway closed to Gatlinburg". Who the hell wants to go to Gatlinburg anyway? We wanted to go to Dollywood. But, ha ha, you have to go through Gatlinburg to get to Dollywood.

We would have turned around. But no. They were vague. And so we went all the way to the tippy top of the Smoky Mountains only to find that they had closed Tennessee.

If you're ever in the Pigeon Forge area, stop by the Visitor Centre and say hi to Don and Betty. They're really nice!
To continue with our trip, we need to go around the mountains. Around. The Smokey Mountains. Not Mount McKay. The Smokey Mountains. It took us nearly three hours to get around and reach Dollywood. If we had been able to go through, it would have taken 20 minutes.

Was Dollywood worth it? Maybe, if we'd have gone in. But that darned Logic kicked in again and stopped us.

scenes from a lookout...

The Scenic Lookout

The Same Lookout

A Different Lookout

Nearly the Same Lookout
more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

The Great Smoky Mountains

Next Stop: Corbin, KY

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Smoky (saw that one coming didn't ya?)

Daily Stats

A Night of Medium TV:
HBO Movie:The Mask
TV Show:VH1 Awards

Sleeping Quarters
Levi Jackson State Park

It's damn cold out, but who cares? Our campground has a lounge with an outlet for the laptop and a TV for the person not working. And it's got HEAT.

Cost: $10.00

In the Smokies
Both:Good Ol' Quaker Oats, Coffee
Apple Tree Inn
Pigeon Forge
K's Order:Hot Roast Beef Sandwich, Mashed Potatoes, Coke
A's Order:Bowl of Soup Beans, Biscuits, Coffee
Both:Pretzels & Koolaid

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© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. What a way to make a living.