What a weird name for a town, right? I got so used to it over the years, I forgot how unusual a name it was. Not that I had ever been there before, I just knew it was close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). And home to Dollywood, the amusement park Dolly Parton financed and built in/near the town.
I never did see Dollywood. The last time I was in the area, I stayed in nearby Gatlinburg. And that’s how I missed the particular attraction that drew me to Pigeon Forge this time around.
But I am getting ahead of myself…
About an hour after leaving Gate City, VA and entering Tennessee, the weather got MUCH better.
I was glad the rain had left the area, but it actually got a bit warmer than I would’ve liked.
It was around 3:00 PM when I finally reached my destination. This fun souvenir/gift shop called Goats on the Roof. Why?
Because they have goats on the roof.
I’m glad I finally saw it, but it wasn’t nearly as fun as I thought it would be. They did have lots of fun t-shirts, though.
My friend, Tracey, has much cuter goats.
From there, it was on to the town of Pigeon Forge. “Town” may be a stretch for the bit of geography I visited while there. It was all a bit over-the-top if you ask me.
Like most national park gateway towns, it was chock-full of retail stores, attractions, souvenir shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. And all of them try very hard to grab folks’ attention.
It seemed rude not to grab a selfie while there. I mean, they’d gone to great lengths to make their cocks attractive.
I scoped-out the lodging options as I drove through Pigeon Forge on my way to GSMNP.
There was a tiny stream gurgling loudly through those big, moss- and lichen-covered boulders. I sat and listened for a while, disturbed only occasionally by a passing vehicle.
Below is a larger reminder of forest fires in the not too distant past.
I was going to ride further into the park, but it was getting colder. So I decided to head back to the visitor’s center where I could use the free wifi and my phone to book a hotel room. I chose a place close to the park, on the edge of all the touristy madness.
Once I’d checked in and unpacked, I realized I didn’t feel like walking anywhere, or riding, to get dinner. So I ordered a pizza from a place the lady at the front desk recommended. It was actually delicious.
Shortly after that, I retired for the evening, and slept like a rock.