GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK — There is something breathtaking about driving among the clouds. Walking among the clouds is even more of an experience.
Driving through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s impossible not to stop at some of the scenic overlooks, particularly early in the morning or near sunset. To look down at the valleys below and see the signature mist hanging in the valleys is both an enlightening and spiritual moment.
And, just when you think it’s impossible to see something more beautiful, you turn around and look in the opposite direction. The views are gorgeous any time of the year, but on a crisp fall morning with the sunshine highlighting the colors of the changing leaves and illuminating the clouds … it’s unparalleled.
Then, when you think your brain cannot possibly absorb any more beauty, you hop out of your car and walk one of the mountain trails.
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In addition to the stunning overlooks, walking the trails puts you in direct contact with the colors of the changing seasons. Nearly every color on the palette is represented, ranging from the soft greens of trees stubbornly clinging to their summer clothes, the darker shades of the evergreens, various shades of yellows, oranges and reds, and, occasionally, you’ll catch a glimpse of azure blue skies.
The waterfalls tumbling down the mountainsides only accentuate the experience, but there are also the valleys, such as Cades Cove, an area that offers a bit of everything.