Time to take your reality pill

February 14, 2006

Michael Silence found a fellow Rocky Top Brigade member who is unhappy with National Geographic Traveler’s low ranking of Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

According to the report,

“Problems like traffic, haze and invasive species landed the Smokies in the ‘Rock Bottom’ category.”

But Barry was particularly offended by the way the magazine slammed the nearby tourist meccas.  The magazine says,

“Topping all negatives are the ‘horrible,’ ‘appalling,’ ‘distasteful’ gateways of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Cherokee: ‘theme parks, outlets, and billboards.'”

Barry defends the gateway communities by pointing out they’re filled with honest-to-goodness real people, saying,

“But I continue to love driving through them, and enjoying them because they’re what we are. They’re a part of our culture, our community, and filled with people who are just like us – hard-working, friendly, (for the most part) courteous, often religious, down-home Southern mountain/valley folk.”

Thankfully, R. Neal found a more realistic view of that valley of crassitude.