This morning we popped out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to face the day at the crack of 10:30… After breakfast at Ihop we headed south towards Sevierville TN the birthplace of Dolly Parton. The drive was lovely and we could see the Smoky Mountains ahead of us. When we got to Sevierville, we stopped first at the Dolly Parton statue downtown to get some pictures. From the look on his face can you guess where Warren has his hand? Dolly will never be the same…
We then took a quick tour of seviereville and checked out the local attractions. It’s a nice little town and although it does have some tourist attractions it’s no where near what we saw in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. But before we set off to those two towns, we stopped at Big Daddy’s Pawn Shop. It was quite an experience which started with this sign posted outside the door:
There were lots of things you could buy at Big Daddy’s – including guns… it was an eye opener for me. Warren bought me a lovely chain and we perused a few more things then headed out to Pigeon Forge.
Pigeon Forge is in the Smoky Mountains and as we drove into towns the mountains served as a beautiful backdrop. It’s easy to see where they got their name – the clouds hung over the peaks making the different mountains look grey, blue and purple. It was beautiful. We poked around Pigeon Forge for a bit – marvelling at the Titanic, the Empire State building complete with King Kong and the Tennessee Mt Rushmore which had Dolly, John Wayne, Elvis and one other guy instead of those boring presidents.
I will say that both Warren and I were quite surprised at the number of tourist attractions we saw – it was more than we expected for sure. Once we’d had our fill, we headed off towards Gatlinburg via Smoky Mountain National park. The drive was gorgeous – lots of pictures below – and then we drove into Gatlinburg which was interesting but really, REALLY touristy. At one point Warren looked at me and said ‘This could be Banff’ and he was absolutely correct. The shops all had the same kitschy stuff that you see in any heavily touristed area. It does bring in money though and that must help the economy in the area. We were a little disappointed because it wasn’t what we expected so after a brief tour we headed back towards Pigeon Forge and then home to Knoxville.
Back in Knoxville we did a tour of the huge historic homes that are here – they are amazing and we reflected on how old they were and what sort of history they must have seen. These houses were absolutely beautiful.
Tomorrow we are heading back to Pigeon Forge to visit DollyWood because, dammit, it has to be done.
Stay tuned for updates on DollyWood!