Tag Archives: tennessee

Rockslide on “The Dragon” to cost TN $2 million

The rockslide on “The Dragon” (US 129) in Tennessee may cost $2 million bucks to clear/repair.  The Dragon is actually one road I don’t believe we’ve traveled in all our trips to the Smokies.  I told my wife I want to get a Mazda Miata so we can drive it there.  I don’t think she’s gonna fall for that trip.  I’ll let you know if that ever happens:) 

It looks like there is a July 31 deadline to get the work completely done.  Who knows when it will be complete though.  If I hear more, I’ll let you know! In the meantime, there is a little more info at the link below…



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Rock slide on I-40 good AND bad for business… and increasing Smoky Mountain traffic

The Smoky Mountains are seeing a major impact ever since the huge rock slide closed portions of I-40 in North Carolina October 25th.  The traffic through the park (from Cherokee to Gatlinburg) as people take that route around the rock slide.  According to this story… http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091228/NEWS01/91228004/2066/NEWS03, officials are seeing about 1,000 cars per day more than what they usually see this time of year.  That’s a significant impact on a winding 2 lane road. 

While I haven’t been up there since the rock slide, my mom and grandmom went to Knoxville a couple of weeks ago, and they said HOURS were added to their detour (around the rock slide via interstate.)  If I were driving up there during the day, I’d take the road through the park.  If I’m going to spend an extra hour or two in the car, I just assume it’s driving through the park.

Business is also seeing a major impact.  I told you back in November…   https://gosmoky.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/rock-slide-work-continues-some-businesses-may-get-federal-assistance/… that some businesses that are seeing less business due to the slide may be getting Federal aid.  Well, it appears that the traffic moving through the park may be helping improve the bottom line for other businesses.  In this article, http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091228/NEWS01/91228005/I-40+shutdown+is+a+blessing++curse+for+businesses one business owner says they have seen a 20-30% increase in business since the rock slide. 

I’m hoping to get back up there myself in a month or so for a long weekend.  I’ll let you know how things go when I take that trip. 


***This post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com .  Check out Dave’s blog post about their 2010 deals.  You can now stay there (a full house) for less than $100/night when you stay for a week.  There are lots of other specials you can find at his site and blog.  Check them out!***

Great Clingmans Dome article…

I know this article was originally posted a couple of weeks ago, but I just found it, and I thought it looked like a great detailed account of a day-hike to Clingmans Dome.  This is one of the must see places in the Smokies.  As a matter of fact, if you only have one day in the Smokies, or perhaps you are just driving through, and want to spend an hour or two exploring before continuing on your way to some other destination, you really should go to Clingman’s Dome.  It is the one place that we almost ALWAYS visit no matter how often we go to the Smokies.  It is also a wonderful “taste of the Smokies” if you don’t plan on visiting the park, but are planning on visiting Cherokee.  It’s just about 7 miles off the road to Cherokee from Gatlinburg.  I also added a video from Clingmans Dome from Youtube. Check out the article, you’ll enjoy it!



**************************Please visit www.smokymountaintower.com to see the place we stay when we’re in the Smokies.  It has the best views of any cabin/condo we’ve ever stayed in, and it’s right between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  Best of all, you deal directly with the owner.  Tell Dave or Angie Raymond said hi!******

Grotto Falls

I found a great post on Grotto Falls I thought you’d enjoy. Believe it or not, this is one highlight of the Smoky Mountains that I’ve never been to.  I need to change that.


Here’s a bonus link… the Great Smoky Mountains National Park like to waterfalls in the park…


The Duggars (all 18 of them) are joining Dolly Parton at Dolly’s Annual parade in Pigeon Forge in May


A man who works with Pigeon Forge has emailed me, offering to send me the latest news about Pigeon Forge.  I guess people are finding this blog:)  Anyhow, he just sent me this.  Check it out, not only will Dolly be at the parade, but all of the Duggars are coming as well! And their trip to Pigeon Forge will be part of an episode of their TLC show! Their press release is below:)


Dolly Parton’s Annual Parade Drawing In More Celebs;
TLC’s Duggar Family Coming to Pigeon Forge May 5-9

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 2009)—The ever-expanding Duggar family, stars of TLC’s “18 Kids and Counting,” is coming to Pigeon Forge May 5 –9 to explore what entertainment legend Dolly Parton and more than 10 million annual visitors already know—this Smoky Mountains town is ideal for families of all kinds.
“Just when you thought Pigeon Forge had everything, along come the Duggars,” said Mayor Keith Whaley.
At the invitation of Mayor Whaley, the Duggars will travel 750 miles from their hometown of Springdale, Ark., to participate in the upcoming Dolly Parton Homecoming Parade on May 8 and take in the many sights of this major tourist town.

The Duggar family trip to Pigeon Forge will be featured in a summer episode of “18 Kids and Counting,” which airs on TLC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).  Each episode chronicles the lives of an Arkansas couple, Jim Bob and Michele Duggar, and their 18 natural-born children, who range in age from four months to 21 years. The family includes two sets of twins. For more information, visit TLC.com.

Every year for the past 24 parades, thousands of Dolly Parton fans have lined a two-mile stretch of the Pigeon Forge Parkway to wave at and to be acknowledged by the entertainment superstar. Parton, of course, is the grand marshal. She is tied to the local tourism economy because of Dollywood, the theme park that is Tennessee’s most popular ticketed attraction.
This year’s Dolly Parton Homecoming Parade has special meaning because Parton is the official ambassador of the 75th anniversary of neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the parade is expected to carry an appropriate theme.
Details of Parton’s float are a tightly held secret, a tradition throughout the parade’s history.  The Duggars will participate with an honorary float the City of Pigeon Forge has crafted for them.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, whose nine million visitors make it the most visited of all national parks, has adopted six Pigeon Forge special events, including the parade, into its official anniversary celebration.
In days leading up to and following the parade, the family will enjoy numerous Parkway attractions during their five-day stay, including several live comedy and musical theaters, spiraling three-story go-cart tracks and North America’s only Zorb, the mountain-side free-fall inside a gigantic ball. All told, Pigeon Forge boasts more than 40 family-friendly attractions along its five-mile Parkway, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in America.
“I guess the Duggars will make it 10 million and eighteen visitors this year,” Whaley said, “and counting.”
Complete information about Pigeon Forge attractions and travel itineraries can be found online at www.MyPigeonForge.com or by calling toll-free to 1-800-251-9100.

If You Go:
The Dolly Parton Homecoming Parade starts at 6 p.m. on May 8 near Traffic Light #6 and travels north nearly two miles to Traffic Light #3 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.  Organizers encourage visitors to arrive in Pigeon Forge early in order to acclimate to the city and find Parkway space from which to view the parade.
About Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge, located in East Tennessee near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is one of the country’s top tourism destinations drawing more than 11 million visitors each year. With more than 40 family-friendly attractions along its five-mile Parkway, Pigeon Forge is clean family fun for all ages. The destination city is located within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population east of the Mississippi River.
About TLC
TLC’s innovative docu-series and reality-based programming include favorites Jon & Kate Plus 8, Little People, Big World, What Not to Wear, 18 Kids and Counting, and LA Ink. TLC defined home design with Trading Spaces and continues to renovate the genre. TLC’s daytime lineup includes the Emmy Award-winning A Baby Story. The channel is available in more than 97 million homes in the US, nearly 8 million homes in Canada and through the website at www.tlc.com. TLC is part of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries.

Knoxville native to play FDR in re-enactment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park dedication


75th anniversary plans are well underway.  It looks like officials will have a re-enactment of FDR coming to the Smokies 75 years ago to dedicate the park.  A Knoxville native is slated to “play” FDR.  Find out more below:)


Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage take place this week in the Smoky Mountains


The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage begins Wednesday.  If you will be anywhere near the Smokies this week, be sure to enjoy some of the festivities of this year’s pilgrimage.  Click below to see more info from the Pilgrimage’s website…