This was my first visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, a sub-range of the Appalachians, and it was a bit of a different experience for me this time. I am used to the high mountain valleys and open meadows of Montana and here was more of a gentle rolling of hills shrouded in dense woods. Looking back on stories and books that I read growing up about the difficulties the frontiers and pioneers faced on their west bound trip, I know understand that it was not the mountains causing issues, it was all the trees! Making the drive west from Asheville, North Carolina, we were hoping to find a few good trails out into the middle of nowhere and setting up camp for a night. No such Luck!
For the trails that we did venture on, they led us to trickling streams with small tumbling waterfalls or some "high point" look-outs. There is a unique beauty to this area though, the humid haze gives an interesting transition of layers from deep greens into various shades of blue, most likely where these mountains acquired their namesake - The Smokies.