Here are some more photos from Day 2 of the Tampa-to-Toronto road trip…
We had only a couple of hours to spend in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, (“The Land of More”) and the place has built up so many amusements over the years that it takes at least a weekend to properly see them. It wasn’t possible to get decent photos from the car, so the photo above and the next few are neighter mine nor Eldon’s, but internet finds to show you what we saw and missed.
It would’ve been fun to check out Dollywood, but unfortunately, it was closed for the season when we passed through Pigeon Forge. Theme Park Review gave it four and a half stars out of five, as does TripAdvisor, while Yelp gives it a four out of five rating.
Lest you think that everything in Pigeon Forge is country music-themed, there’s the Titanic Museum, whose slogan is “World’s largest museum attraction”. The Smoky Mountains are deep inland and a couple thousand miles from where the Titanic sank, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting.
The Island is a new addition to Pigeon Forge, and it opened last summer. It’s an amusement park with more shopping and restaurants and marked by The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a 200 foot tall ferris wheel.
I’ll just let the intro paragraph on Wonderworks’ site do the talking:
WonderWorks Pigeon Forge began as a Top Secret research laboratory on a remote island in the Bermuda Triangle. As legend has it, the world’s greatest scientists – led by Professor Wonder – were given the task of creating a man-made tornado and harnessing the POWER of it. During this experiment, something went awry and the power of the tornado was unleashed throughout the laboratory. This created a swirling vortex that was strong enough to rip the laboratory from its foundation. It was carried thousands of miles away and landed upside-down on the top of a theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Remarkably, all of the experiments remained intact and functional.
Of course we were going to check out what is purported to be the world’s largest knife store. BECAUSE KNIVES. I took the photos below as I giddily ran about the shop.
I was disappointed that the Bear Grylls display had no gear to help you do what he’s internet famous for:
The folks at Smoky Mountain Knife Works know that life isn’t just about survival, self-defense, and huntin’; it’s just not complete without some sweet, sweet, lovin’. But please — not in the store.
Got a Wolverine or ninja fantasy? They can help you with that:
If your tastes run more towards Game of Thrones, they can help you with that too:
And hey, even Star Wars fans can find lots of stuff here:
I was pleased to see that they had a section devoted to Cold Steel’s knives, machetes, and other sharp, pointy goodies:
If you’ve never seen Cold Steel’s YouTube videos, you’re missing out on some over-the-top bladed fun. Here’s their latest one:
It was aisle after aisle of cool, cool stuff…
If you ever find yourself near Pigeon Forge — Knoxville isn’t too far — do be sure to make a trip to Smoky Mountain Knife Works, which is just as much an amusement as many of those down the road, and it’s free to visit!
And now, some additional pics from our final stop of the day, the Wicked Weed Brewing Company. The place gets its name from a declaration by King Henry VIII, who called hops “a wicked and pernicious weed” that would destroy beer. It would take a while before craft brewers would go overboard with hops, but when used with some moderation, they give beer a much-needed kick in the pants, and the folks at Wicked Weed know this. Be sure to check out what they’ve got on tap!
Here I am, enjoying the first beer after a very long drive:
Here’s another shot of me enjoying that same beer, with bonus photobombing from one of the waitstaff:
Here’s my dinner: greens, a very tasty pork chop, and a macaroni and cheese cake:
After dinner, dessert: more beer, and some chocolate-covered pretzels. Eldon was quite impressed:
Here’s a close-up of that pretzel. Even if you don’t drink beer, you need to drop by Wicked Weed for the food: