The definition of a pilgrimage according to Encarta is “a journey to a place with special significance”. Well if there were ever such an event this time of year, it would be the annual trek to the Smoky Mountains that tens of thousands of people make to view the autumn foliage spectacular that occurs every fall in the Tennessee and North Carolina Mountains.
When the conditions have been right, the trees begin evolve into a crescendo of brilliant reds, bright orange and golden yellow reaching their peak in mid-October. The caravans of cars, motorhomes and motorcycles begin the winding drive up the Great Smoky Mountain Parkway towards Gatlinburg from the south or to Cherokee coming from the North. Nearly every spot where a vehicle can pull off fills with folks wanting to capture the moment. During prime time, it can take hours to drive this 40 some odd mile parkway and should any wildlife appear, all bets are off and the traffic comes to a complete stop.
Clingmans Dome (6,643 ft.), Tennessee’s highest point, can provide spectacular views at sunrise and sunset and on clear days the view can cover over a 100 miles.