Yesterday, we spent over eight hours at Dollywood, a country music theme park in Pigeon Forge, TN. You can love or hate Dolly Parton but people always have strong feelings about this country super star. She opened her theme park in 1986 and it’s pretty much all about her. But she’s created jobs and a slew of businesses along the Pigeon Forge Parkway.
Lenny and I were in Pigeon Forge BD (Before Dollywood). It was quiet and empty. Now it’s like Las Vegas without the gambling – motels, flashing signs and crawling traffic.
But none of that worried us. Lenny, our granddaughter Hannah, and I got to Dollywood before 9 am and went all the rides we could. Well, Lenny and Hannah went on the thrilling rides. I took the pictures.
We visited a replica of Dolly’s mountain home where her parents raised 11 children. The park tries to have a little of the Smokies culture. Most of the Dollywood visitors never enter Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
I had to visit the Great Smoky Mountains Association store, mostly to see if the average visitor would know that it was run by the Association. A visitor would have to be scouring the small signs to find out about GSMA. But it would be the only place in Dollywood to get any information about the Smokies or even to get a book of any type.
This is my last store. I’ve now visited all nine Smokies Association stores. Do I get a patch?
But it was exhausting. We’re back on the trail today. I can’t wait.