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  • Writer's pictureDes & Sandie Nichols


When we drove up to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, we were excited that we had chosen a small town named Pigeon Forge as our base. Images of hickey wooden houses, delicious local Southern food and colorful country folk filled our minds.

A long windy road followed a rocky, fast flowing river through the hillside forests up to the town. We had driven from North Carolina and we just so excited to get to the Great Smoky Mountains.

We were in for a shock.

The one main road in this wacky place is lined relentlessly with fast food restaurants and some of the most bizarre 'amusement' buildings you'll see outside Las Vegas. It is a mini version of the Strip and Orlando - surrounded by magnificent mountains and autumnal forests. This is where Dollywood is, the shrine to the twangy, bouncy-castle who is revered around here - Dolly Parton Parkway, Dolly Parton Theatre, Dolly Parton this, Dolly Parton that - Dolly fronts everything. But I dont need to add any more - the pictures give you a good idea.  Boy, did we get this wrong. But then, only in America! Love it.

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