This was a get out and see it day. It was also the day to take Hannah and Hancock for their “look, see” at a local kennel. This is no ordinary kennel since their registration form is similar to those required for a top secret clearance. That was my first clue. The second was that they offered doggie “day care”. The last, and final, clue was that the dogs must come for a “look,see” before being boarded there. Happily, my dogs passed and get to come back. But, during their stay, I had to do something to pass the time.
After taking care of a little business, I headed for Gatlinburg, TN. Hadn’t been there since forever; I knew it was Mecca for a lot of folks from Mississippi, but the vision those opinions brought, cracked like a windshield. I had expected it to change from what it was back when I was a really young thing. It had. Unfortunately, not for the better. It has grown and isn’t a quaint little town anymore. The town traded it charm and beauty for the sake of the dollar and making a living.
I remembered it as a little village surrounded by the beauty and profound peacefulness of the Smoky Mountains. What I saw on my drive through the main drag was all the popular chain restaurants mixed with a myriad attractions or shops filled with t-shirts, candy or trinkets. Since the sidewalks were filled with people, I thought that by driving through I was missing something. In my self-contained, air-conditioned environment with the radio playing nothing could be learned about Gatlinburg itself. That something didn’t include parking and wandering through the crowded town. As a compromise, I turned off the radio and air as I rolled down the windows. I expected the murmur of the crowd and the sweet smell of the mountains. What I received was the blare of canned music mixing with that scent that occurs in any highly populated area.
I’m not judging the entire town by it’s main attraction and I will go back since, gratefully, I never did find the tea house I was seeking. But I will go onto the off road areas and find the Smokies, the real Smokies with their unspoiled streams, wildlife, and fresh air. God forbid I find anything imprinted with Mickey D’s logo.