December 8, 2018

Gatlinburg at night

Dateline: Gatlinburg, Tennessee-

I’m actually writing this in the cabin in Sevierville but as the day was spent in Gatlinburg, I thought it best to headline it that way. I woke up this morning to find that this cabin, which had to be approached up narrow mountain lanes in the dark, had a marvelous view of the Smokies. The hazy mountains drop away from the bottom of the cabin (which is actually much more of a luxury vacation home) and we were greeted by a couple of wild turkeys roaming through the yard.

I’m sharing a makeshift bedroom with Melissa Bailey. We’ve shared a lot over the last fifteen years so what’s one more thing? She doesn’t snore and I brought my CPAP so I shouldn’t either. We all managed to get up and pile into a couple of cars after breakfast and head off for a day in Gatlinburg. It’s trying to decide if it wants to snow or not. It’s what I suppose they refer to as wintry mix. A little snow, a little rain, a little sleet. A little not fun driving on mountain roads but we made it in safely and took the tram up to Ober Gatlinburg and watched various people fall on their butts at the ice rink. Then, we headed up to the top of the mountain on the chairlift. This may not have been the best idea in 35 degree weather with varying sorts of precipitation, but there was hot chocolate at the top. Then back down to the lodge and to dry out by the fire.

Back down to the town itself for dinner (pizza) and wandering through the lights of tourist land. There’s something unique about American tourist towns, whether they are in the mountains, at the beach, or on a lake. The collection of candy shops, souvenir stands, mini-golf courses, and museums of dubious veracity are unequaled anywhere in the world. We decided to partake in a moonshine tasting and after thirteen shots of everclear flavored with various dental fluoride preparations, I was done for the evening. Ken Rowe and Dianne Rowe and I headed back to Sevierville a little earlier than the rest of the gang who were left behind to take a trolley tour in the dark. I will say that Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge look lovely with all the Christmas lights, much nicer in the dark than in the light when all the seams behind the papier mache tend to show.

I’ve been trying to think of a story to tell all day but nothing much is coming to mind. Maybe something will spark tomorrow. In the meantime, we’re all back, keeping each other company with old movies on the TV.

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