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My most recent single release - "My True North" - is now available on Bandcamp. Open my profile and click on "audio clip".

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Despite our original plan to be on the road for over a month, 2021's Southern State Swing finished ahead of schedule. However, except for the Alabama coast and driving east to Savannah, we got to most of our planned destination spots. 

Aside from deciding to skip the southernmost portion of the trip, our abbreviated time away was further impacted because - other than our five glorious days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - we spent less time than planned at most of the other stops on our itinerary. Those truncated stops in turn affected the timing for ad hoc visits to some folks in the Carolinas and Virginia heading home. We've already decided a trip to Savannah - perhaps combined with a rendezvous with some of the Southern family & friends missed this time - is in our future.  

What will you remember most about your last vacation? I've already shared a few highlights with you here earlier in May. Indulge me as I now share a lowlight. At all costs, avoid Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. If Pigeon Forge is somewhere you yearn to re-visit, be sure to post a comment here to ensure you and I are never travel partners. Passing through that tacky tourist travesty, I sincerely expected to hear Neil Young warble Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. OMG.    



  1. Haven't a clue of what Pigeon Forge is but I am curious if mask wearing and appropriate physical distancing was respected in the South.....

    1. Ines; Be grateful you "..haven't a clue.." about what Pigeon Forge is; you are better off for that. As for mask-wearing in the South, neither of us discerned a huge difference in the protocols in the Southern cities we visited vs. here up North. In the more out-of-the-way locations, I would describe the mask-wearing practices as looser. That said, we never felt unsafe, although both of is being fully vaccinated certainly helped us in that regard.

  2. Pigeon Forge is the devil offspring of a marriage between the people that "Paved Paradise and Put In a Parking Lot" and the founders of WalMart. Absolutely the most depressing entryway to a national park that we have seen to date. And Gatlinburg is almost as bad...a mile-long strip of maxed out Jersey Shore boardwalk attractions. If you are going to Smoky Mountain National Park, stay in Townsend TN.

  3. Good morning, Pat. Hope you and Kim are doing well and staying safe. So now I know that Pigeon Forge is on the 'Do Not Travel" list. I never really had any desire to go there anyway. Although I do have a strong desire to get to Nashville one day. Thank you, and also to 'krowebar', for the information.
    I've not had the opportunity to travel far the past few years. And, being one who loves to travel, it is unfortunate. But, I have very fond, and vivid, memories of solo travels taken in my 20's. LA and San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta were some and were great fun and trips that I did by myself. Some of these had friends waiting upon my arrival but, if no one wanted, or was able, to join me, I just loaded the car and went anyway. I did fly to California, but the point remains the same. One of the most memorable things about those solo drives was the conversations I would have on my CB Radio (remember those?). Radio was OK. 8 Track Tapes were the norm. But the long drives were definitely more interesting when talking to other travelers - truckers as well as travelers like me. I also have very warm memories of family vacations to Florida and the many stops along the way. Stuckey's restaurants where you could fill not only your stomach, but also your car at the gas pumps in front of each restaurant location. My father coined the phrase 'Eat Here and Get Gas' on one of our first trips, and it became something to laugh about for many years. So many others come to mind but, as I ramble on, I'll leave with just these. But, it is true that 'getting there is half the fun'.
    Be well,

    1. Bob; Thanks, as always for your comment. FYI, although I too had long had Nashville on my list of cities to visit, I confess I was disappointed, at least this first time. I've been very fortunate in having visited all the other cities you mentioned and of those four I'd have to name San Diego as my favorite. And though I'm not ashamed to say I do remember CB radios and 8-tracks as well, my favorite part of your comprehensive comment is your father's "Eat Here and Get Gas". Ha!