By Kevin Williams
There are no Amish communities anywhere near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. But that doesn't mean there isn't a Plain presence there. For as long as I can remember, I recall Amish people speaking fondly of the "Smokies." For many Amish, there is an allure to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. They are , for the most, part the closest real mountains to the Midwest and a summer escape to the relative cool of the mountains is appealing to many Amish.
I was surprised to encounter a "mini-bus" full of Amish who scampered out to take in a scenic overlook northeast of Gatlinburg. I made small talk with them and found out they were from the Amish community of Arthur, Illinois and we just spending a week in a cabin in the Smokies. When people say a "cabin in the Smokies" that can have a very broad definition, from a true rustic experience high up in the mountains, to a rented trailer home in the bustling city of Gatlinburg.
The group quickly got back on the bus and went on their way. Very friendly. I think I saw them in town again later.