Before I comment on the exciting adventures of the day, some unfinished business about Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Dollywood is actually a classy place, in its own way. But oh lordy, the main strip in town – which is actually about three miles from the park – is like nothing we have ever seen. It is jam-packed with hotels – some you have heard of, and others just reaching out and screaming for your attention. The selection of theme lodgings is unbelievable. Would your interests include: King Kong; year-round Christmas; Jurassic Park; year-round Halloween; the Amish; the Titanic; medieval times; teddy bears; Bible stories; the Hatfields and McCoys? Well then, just pick one and Pigeon Forge has a hotel right for you. I guess this was good training for Vegas, coming up this weekend.
But now for today. You know, you can live with a person for quite a while without realizing that he is harboring a very long-held desire to see Davy Crockett’s birthplace. It’s just not one of those things that comes up in daily conversation.
However, I have heard about it daily since we started on this trip, so how exciting it was when we got to the sacred place today. It was touch-and-go for a while. We got to the visitors’ center five minutes after they closed for a one-hour lunch at noon. But I think the head ranger heard some sniffles through the door so he kindly let us in anyway.
It’s a state-run institution, so we were able to learn all about Davy – and now you will too. (His friends call him “Davy” but lots of people now seem to prefer the more pretentious “David.” Humpff.)
The cabin was a sweet reconstruction, right by the lovely Nolichucky River.
We also went off to the Crockett Tavern, where his family moved next. Also a reconstruction, but you get the idea. The major disappointment of the day was the lack of coonskin-cap merchandise for Don to try on. But he’s being brave about it.
After that, we drove into Greeneville and to see what we could of Andrew Johnson’s home, which is a national park and thus closed. But we did walk around and see what we could of this charming town where he lived and ran his tailor shop. His presidential library was also closed.
Lack of coonskin caps and other frustrations aside, it was a lovely day. Perhaps, like our old friend Davy, we should all have a “possibles” bag handy.