I was terribly disappointed. But my friends, who came from three different cities to hike in the Smokies, weren't disappointed. They saw the fairlyland of the woods in spring even without the wildflowers. They saw the moss covering rocks and logs, and the sunlight streaming through the still leafless silhouettes of trees. To them each tiny white flower was picture-worthy.
They didn't know what they were missing, and instead saw what was there. There is something profound in that and I should probably tie it in with some kind of worldview mantra, but for me it was simply a reminder that I live in a beautiful place, no matter what time of year.