DAY 13: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Miles traveled: 1,785
States visited: 8 (just added: Tennessee)
Weather: 89, steamy
This weekend I’m hanging out in Knoxville with some close family who are visiting the area, and their dog Izzy, the cutest dog ever. It’s nice to get a taste of home while I’m traveling.
Friday night we wound up in McKay’s Used Books, CDs, and more. They had some ridiculously low prices – I bought two books for 87 cents total. We also went downtown to Market Square, which is similar to Pittsburgh’s Market Square.
Yesterday I went off to visit my volleyball pal Keilan, who is back in Tennessee for the weekend where he grew up. We went hiking in the Smoky Mountains. I’ll write more about that and post some great pics tomorrow.
We drove through the town of Pigeon Forge, which is quite interesting. It’s the home of Dollywood, so that and its proximity to the Smokies mean that it is loaded with tourists and tourist-y stores.
Driving down the main highway you see all these crazy shops and amusements, like the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride, Black Bear Jamboree, Hillbilly Golf, an Elvis Museum, Christmas stores that are open year-round, lots of go-kart racing, and even a helicopter sightseeing company. The nearby town of Sevierville boasts a lifesize statue of Dolly Parton, which I thought looked more like Loretta Lynn, at least until you get up close.
Keilan’s family also provided some home-cooked meals and some Wii entertainment. His 3-year-old niece whipped us all at Wii bowling, posting a score of 169. This girl had literally just peed her pants two hours earlier at the mall. I swear I’m not making that up. Then she comes home and schools us all.
I’ll be in the area for another day. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s report on our treacherous and harrowing climb to the top of the Smokies.