Subject: What's great about the Great Smokies?
Hi Russell! I'm certain that many ziners from TN and NC will leap at the chance to dispel these myths, but since we've driven almost the entire length of 1-81 and since paintings by Lee Roberson from Townsend (artist laureate of the Smokies) hang in our home I'll add my 2 cents.

If we were going back it would be a hard choice whether to follow I-81 through the Shenandoah Valley as the scenery is absolutely beautiful, or to meander along that incredible Blue Ridge Parkway. I suppose we would go one route and come back the other. I can't recommend lodgings as on one trip we were part of that dreaded RV category, (we don't have a GS sticker posted) and on another we based ourselves in much maligned Gatlinburg. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there, particularly the artisans loop, and also excursions into the National Park, Cherokee, Townsend etc. Mind you, I have heard horror stories of traffic, etc. but we fortunately escaped that being there slightly off season. You do have to look beyond the amusement park surface veneer. If you are in Townsend, a daytrip down the mountain could be interesting. Driving the Artisans Loop could take most of a day, as some of the crafts and artwork can be quite unique.

Enough! Go, enjoy exploring a very unique part of your country, and if you come across a 1940's pickup for sale in mint condition let me know. My husband would be ecstatic!!

Anne Burlington ON