The Great Smoky Mountain Adventure is over and as a souvenir I brought home a lovely cold complete with scratchy throat, irritating cough and runny nose. It was a small price to pay for such a fun four days. I’m afraid to step on the scales this morning since I’m sure that I brought back more than merely the sniffles. But, that’s why God created American Family Fitness. When I am 80, infirm and broke, I hope that my children will remember all of these fun trips when pondering the question, “Where did all of Dad’s money go??”
Previous blogs have detailed the great fun we had so I won’t repeat them here. However, there was one major downer to the whole Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg experience. Highway 66. This is the major artery that leads you to the area off of Interstate 40. Whether by accident or design, it seems to be the only way to enter, sort of like the Pearly Gates. Actually it’s more like the way that department stores set up their floor plans, forcing you to meander through rows of high profit margin junk before you can find the package of underwear you’re looking for. Well, highway 66 is a 20 mile stretch of high profit margin junk that you must endure before you are rewarded with your cabin. This 20 miles takes roughly one hour and fifteen minutes to traverse. That’s right, in the time it takes for you to drive from Richmond to DC, the visitor is treated to 38 pancake joints, a dozen go-cart tracks, 16 tattoo parlors, enough doughnut shops to give all of China a sugar high, the “largest Christmas shop in the south,” three water parks, five helicopter ride pads, two Elvis museums, three psychic readers, and a giant remake of Mount Rushmore replacing the Presidents with the four icons of Dixie…John Wayne, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Conway Twitty.Highway 66 is an education. You want to learn about America? Forget the Smithsonian, forget National Parks. Just take Highway 66 from Interstate 40 to Wears Valley Road and soak it all in. No tolls, lots of waiting!