Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Family Tradition

Magnet #104:  Great Smoky Mountains' 75th Anniversary

Material:  Wood

Purchased By:  Me

Well, I mentioned on my post on the Great Smoky Mountains'  75th Anniversary back in September that I intended to make more trips there.  But at the time, I didn't know I would be making one before the year was up.  Well, earlier this month, I went up with my family and spent a week in the area.  We rented a cabin just outside of the main strip in Pigeon Forge and it was wonderful.  The drive up the mountain upon which it was situated was a bit perilous, but once up there, the views were amazing.  It was named "Above the Clouds" and it definitely lived up to it.  One day, the clouds were moving in and we could actually watch the mountains below us become like islands in the fog.  It was pretty neat.  The location was also great, as we were able to spend a few hours after dinner each night shopping at the outlet malls below, which would have been impossible at some of the cabins we've stayed at before, which are much further out.  We all agreed this is a cabin we'd return to on subsequent trips, although I'm not sure I'd ever want to drive up to it myself.

One point that was made on Ken Burn's recent television miniseries, The National Parks: America's Best Idea is that so many families have a National Park they are tied to and have gone to, sometimes for generations.  In my family, that would definitely be the Great Smoky Mountains.  Both my Mom and my Dad visited the park when they were growing up with their respective families, and I've gone to it about four times with them.  Considering this is the most visited National Park, I imagine there are quite a few families out there that can say that about the Smokies.  For us, this trip differed from previous ones in that we drove through the park on U.S, Route 441, a road which takes travelers high into the mountains of the park and past Newfound Gap at the park's center.  It was necessary to travel this way because of a rock slide blocking the route we wanted to take, but I was kind of glad we did.  I had never seen how the road twists and turns that high up, and there were so many streams of water rushing down the mountains beside us.  It was a gorgeous drive, and I was glad to have a new experience in the park.

I would have posted about our trip earlier, but I was going nuts looking for this magnet, because it was the best one for this post.  When I bought it, it was actually an ornament, so I had to convert it into a magnet.  That was a little weird - while it's no big deal changing a pin or a keychain, I felt odd butchering an ornament, which is also something I collect, to make a magnet.  Oh well, it's done, and now I have this beautiful magnet for my kitchen.  It was handmade by Tim Weberding, a third generation woodworker with a shop in Gatlinburg.  I sure wish I'd known it was there at the time of our visit, because I would have liked to see it!  His work was sold in several shops around the area, and I bought this at one of them.  If you want to see more of his work, his website is  Oh well, I'm sure there is another trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in store for our family, and I should get my chance then.  I'm glad we know the Smokies will always be there for us to take another trip, and perhaps even introduce a new generation to its spectacular beauty.


  1. Your blog was forwarded to me by a friend. I appreciate the mention. Happy to hear you enjoy our work.

  2. I appreciate it when talented artisans like yourself remember those of us who like to buy magnets and ornaments. It makes my collection that much nicer!