Dream ride: Find the Gap


America certainly knows how to do breakfast. Sitting inside Pete’s Coffee Shop in Knoxville, Tennessee, a banquet of eggs-over-easy, crispy bacon, pancakes with syrup, orange juice, toast and jelly warms our stomachs just like the early-season sunshine now streaming in through the misty windows.

Plates clean, we’re refuelled and ready for the start of our Smoky Mountains tour as we go in search of Newfound Gap.

Our first stop is in Gatlinburg, a mini Las Vegas with seemingly endless tourist-driven attractions and amusements, flashing lights and gaudy signs all fighting for the attention of the throngs of people who pass through here on their way to the National Park.

Even though this curious town is called the ‘Gateway to the Smokies’ it’s the polar opposite of the very
thing that most visitors have come to see.

It’s as if they need a dose of artificiality before embarking on their trip into the natural wonders of this great continent…

Geoff Tompkinson

By Geoff Tompkinson