We left Savannah and spent Wednesday night in Spartanburg, SC. Thursday morning we decided to go over the Smokies instead of up I-40... to see a little fall color.
I'd forgotten just how steep the hills were going over toward Cherokee, NC. Steep, very steep. Needed to use lower gears so I wouldn't burn out my brakes! Cherokee has grown so much in 12 years. Those indians have not only learned marketing, but are doing a darned good job at it. The museum has doubled in size and is undergoing another expansion. The casino parking lot was full. Shops were crowded. Parking was terrible.
On to Gatlinburg... which wasn't much better. I think the Cherokees used Gatlinburg as their "model town" as the same problems - no parking, crowded streets, narrow walkways, etc. - plagued both tourist traps. Don't need to go back.
Pigeon Forge was a bit more wide open - four lane highway ran through it - but even it had it's share of touristy stuff. Dollywood, music halls, etc... much as I think Branson, MO, would be as my parents described it. And for all this... very very little fall color! Rats! So much for a plan!