My memories of Gatlinburg are that one has to endure it in order to get into Smoky Mountain National Park. Now a spur allows drivers to skip the town and arrive directly at the entrance. A convention of youth were filling the streets there so we spent a couple rainy days outlet shopping in Pigeon Forge. Bass Pro and Coleman were the best; we left refitted with a new tent, air mattresses, lightweight sleeping bags, cooler, and more. The tent door swings as well as zips—how neat is that? Since we spent our money shopping we’ll have to go back for a show or two next time around. A little community of artists lives outside Gatlinburg so local pottery and paintings fill many shops. Vacation cabins filled the mountains above, some like elevated subdivisions devoid of trees (reminding us of beehives or anthills), but others perching bravely on outcroppings and affording the most fantastic of views.