I am a Northerner. I come from Michigan, live in Chicago, and practically bleed pride over it.
But I just returned from a week-long camping adventure in Tennessee (with stops in Kentucky and North Carolina) and I feel like I left a fragment of my heart in the Smoky Mountains. Off I-40 exit 447, in fact, in a little town called Hartford on the shores of the Pigeon River.
Seriously, I came home with an entire outline for a book about hot rafter dudes, small-town charm, biscuits and sweet tea, and mountains.
I loved it. Go there.
And while you're there, go to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and see how much fun there is to be had. Do yourself a favor and attend Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. Taste some moonshine from Bootlegger's Distillery. Go to Asheville, North Carolina and walk the Urban History Trail.
Yeah. For real. Go there. <3