Fall Foliage! Ride the Rails
There is something holy about Appalachia. On “the third day,” God separated the land from the seas. I imagine his fist crashing into the ground to create the Grand Canyon. But for our southern mountains, he pressed his thumbprint into hollows to push up the peaks.
In summer, the chain rolls green, purple, and blue, misting mysteriously in the distance. As warm weather gives way to cool days, tree canopies flame crimson, copper, gold, and yellow. Witness the glory by train.
Two scenic routes typically make the top 10. Hop aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. From its historic depot in Blue Ridge, Georgia, the train winds its way to Copper Hill, Tennessee, and back. Blue Ridge is worth a linger; it’s the “antiques capital” of the Peach State.
Catch a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, which starts in the heart of Bryson City, North Carolina, and cuts its way across the western reaches of the state.
When ice sheeted the continent almost 2 million years ago, animals sought refuge in the Great Smoky Mountains. It also became a haven for plant species. When you gaze upon the mountains, a miracle stretches before you—more native trees than in any region of comparable size in the country.
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Map it! The U.S Forest Service tracks fall colors by state and forest. A quick click will take you to the closest color drive-by.
Fall colors courtesy of Fran Trudeau, http://www.flickr.com/photos/papa-t/8116823983/
My blog, Random Storyteller, is a revel in reflections, quirky characters, memory gems, and intriguing places—often with a dash of humor.
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