The Great Smoky Mountains

The highest point in the Smoky Mountains, Clingman's Dome.

Spring is a beautiful time of year. With all my travels and various adventures, occasionally I miss a change in seasons somewhere. This year, spring was different for me. Instead of skipping from winter into late spring, like I have for the past several years, I actually got to enjoy the cusp of spring in the Smoky Mountains with my wife and kids.

At the risk of sounding too artsy, the mountains looked like someone had taken a paint brush full of spring colors and just dabbed it onto a winter forest. The canopy had bright reds, pinks, greens and yellows. The forest floor was still clear, but in parts, covered in fresh spring greens. It was beautiful weather as well. Perfect temperatures, light breeze, and that fresh feeling to the air that you only get this time of year.

On the second day, we decided to go for a hike in Great Smoky Mountain national park. We decided that, though it was a bit of a drive into the park, the hike on Clingman's Dome was worth the trip. The photograph at the top is from the tower at the end of the hike. The view was stunning. We are blessed that there are protected spaces like the National Parks that we can freely visit. It is something that I hope to do more often, and should not take for granted.


Driving through the park is excellent as well, this time of year. Tennessee has the kind of dense forest that is difficult to see through when the trees are fully fledged. Usually, under the forest canopy is filled with dense brush.

The trees at lower altitudes are somewhat majestic, but seem scrubby compared to the tall hardwood forests of the western states. Though, they are still beautiful in a way that is uniquely Tennessee! This time of year though, you can imagine that you are in another place, and actually see some incredible views that will all to soon be hidden from view until next winter. By the time we left, the forest secrets that we got to explore were already disappearing from view.

- H