Time to take your reality pill

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.


One Response to Time to take your reality pill

  1. I appreciate the varied reminders of the Smoky Mountains. I volunteered with my AmeriCorps team in the park for a few months in 1999 and was consistantly awe struck by the beauty of the park and strange sights in the towns just outside the park. Little did I know at that time that I would marry a husband from Alabama who spent many childhood family vacations in Gatlinburg. The park itself reminded me of my Oregon home and was a welcome change from the swamps of South Carolina and Mississippi that we had spent time in before. Thanks!

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