2nd Try to Clingmans Dome

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Travel Blog

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Smoky Mountains

Started the morning by taking care of some business, and eating breakfast in my room. And to the library, to check some things, like e-mail, Facebook, and yes, even TB. :) Then made a call to a friend, as we discussed meeting up when I come to Atlanta. Then got ready for the day ahead in the Smokies.

After all that, I drove into the park, and to the visitor center. I was still feeling light-headed from the night before. No idea what the cause, and just hoped it was not anything major. After browsing there for a little bit, I was back out, and to Newfound Gap. Then just enjoyed the views, and ate some snacks.

Then back to Clingmans Dome, making the 7-mile journey again. Once there, I started the hike uphill. The entire walk was in the sunlight, with very little shade.

Clingmans Dome observation tower
This time, I had to keep going, until I got to the top. Needless to say, I was all sweaty and out of breath. The incline was pretty shape, making it more difficult. The Appalachian Trail does pass through the area.

I made it to the Clingmans Dome observation tower, located on the highest point in the Smokies (and in the state of Tennessee). The structure had a winding ramp, leading to the observation deck. A bit of a walk, adding to the hike, as the ramp went around a few times. I made it to the top, and took in the views.

As I would learn, Clingmans Dome is actually the name of the mountain, not the tower. Looking at the Smoky Mountains, which were nice to look at. As the name suggests, it is very smoky but also hazy, as the pollution has gotten worse over the years.
view of Smoky Mountains, from tower - 1
If really looking, one can see the towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, but barely, and no way to tell which one is which.

I would hear about the black bugs getting stuck on people, but would not see them until I went back down. As I went down the ramp, I saw a bunch on the railing, and some did get on my shirt. I plucked them off, as I went downhill, to the parking lot. Needless to say, going down was not as hard as going up, but the heat still made it difficult.

It was a drive back to Newfound Gap, then a right turn on the main road, to the town of Cherokee, in North Carolina. I did make more stops along the way, until I got to the Oconalutee Visitor Center, which was another entrance on the North Carolina side. Stopped by there, to take a break, and get some information. Then I exited the park, and into the town of Cherokee.

More about my visit to Cherokee in the next entry.

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Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains
Clingmans Dome observation tower
Clingmans Dome observation tower
view of Smoky Mountains, from towe…
view of Smoky Mountains, from tow…
Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains
observation tower
observation tower
walkway to deck
walkway to deck
view of Smoky Mountains, from towe…
view of Smoky Mountains, from tow…
view of Smoky Mountains, from towe…
view of Smoky Mountains, from tow…
view of Smoky Mountains, from towe…
view of Smoky Mountains, from tow…
view of Smoky Mountains, from towe…
view of Smoky Mountains, from tow…
supposedly the towns through the h…
supposedly the towns through the …
view of Smoky Mountains, from towe…
view of Smoky Mountains, from tow…
me at the Smokies
me at the Smokies
observation deck
observation deck
Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
photo by: tj1777