Florida woman tricked by TikTok video, drove to Gastonia for scenic mountains

GASTONIA, N.C. — A Florida woman drove an hour out of her way to look for scenic mountains in Gastonia, only to find out she was tricked by a TikTok post.

North Carolina native Zachary Keesee posted video of a scenic mountain he visited in Switzerland and labeled them as scenes from Gastonia, North Carolina.

It got millions of views, probably because many knew it wasn’t Gastonia, but Olivia Garcia had no idea.

@realzacharykeesee

Reply to @johnzimmerschied Gastonia, North Carolina. A TRUE gem 💎 #gastonia #northcarolina #switzerland #nc

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She was visiting Boone and convinced her family to drive to Gastonia to enjoy the view, and then realized her mistake.

“Once we started kind of going out of the mountains, I was a little suspicious. I’m like, ‘when are the mountains going to start back up again? We were 20 minutes out of the way then, and I was like, ‘This doesn’t seem right,’ and once we got there, I was like, ‘Oh God, this isn’t it.’”

Channel 9 spoke to Garcia and Keesee on Monday. He said it was a joke, but he did apologize.

“I mean I guess I can formally apologize face-to-face for any inconveniences I have caused you, but it seems you’ve taken it pretty lightly and got the humor out of it and have a funny story,” he said.

Garcia said she hopes to return to Gastonia one day to see the scenic area that, of course, doesn’t include mountains.

Channel 9 spoke to Michael Applegate, Gaston County’s director of travel and tourism, about the TikTok video. He said he found out about the whole thing Monday morning through an email.

“We’re glad she did come to see us, and next time check out gogastonnc.org for all the official information on Gaston County, because there’s plenty of outdoor natural beauty and we want you to experience it. And whatever motivates people to get here, we’re glad you came, and please hurry back and see us,” Applegate said.

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