This morning I attended the Huskey Grove Branch United Methodist Church.
I did this because I wonder what would cause someone to live in a place like that, and what kind of people they are. Why would someone live in a place where 4-wheel-drive is a requirement to get to your front door? I suppose I also wonder why people would live in Pigeon Forge, or towns like that (Las Vegas, for example), but I suppose that most of these people lived in Pigeon Forge long before it became the 24×7 flashing lights tourist trap that it is now.
The church was a very beautiful building way out on Huskey Grove Branch road, which is off of the road into the Smokey Mountains National Park, a little ways in, if you go in from the Pigeon Forge entrance.
There were 13 people in attendance, if you count me. One family has 3 boys, and so comprised close to half of those in attendance. After the service, they had a congregational meeting, because they had a majority of the members present. One of the topics, unsurprisingly, was that, due to falling membership, finances are becoming a serious problem, and they’re not sure how they will remain open very much longer.
The people were very pleased to have a visitor. Apparently that never happens, which is hardly much of a surprise. It’s not the sort of place you’d stumble upon by mistake. But I had seen the sign several times a year, driving past it to the mountains, for more than a decade now. So it seemed worth a visit.
Although I had intended to stay in the mountains for two nights, after having such a hard time finding a place to stay, and then the episode in the Elkmont woods, I decided to come home tonight. I’m worn out.