“Smoky” Mountains, indeed!

 photo DSC_0986_zpsefad3aa6.jpg

This is the view from Clingman’s Dome when it’s surrounded in clouds. Quite different from our visit just 3 days prior, which can be viewed here and here!

As I mentioned in my previous post, our original plan was to turn north toward home this Thursday morning, but Terry thought we’d enjoy one more trip up to a high peak. None of us objected! We saw some clouds winding through the mountains when we left the hotel; however, we had no idea Clingman’s Dome would be entirely smothered. We’re clearly not accustomed to mountain-terrain weather patterns.

 photo DSC_0979_zps12526c7d.jpg

When we visited Clingman’s Dome on Monday, we had already hiked several mountainous miles, and were too exhausted to climb the incredibly-steep half-mile trail to the peak. Although we couldn’t see the amazing views we had anticipated, we still hiked up and up.

 photo DSC_0981_zps74b07b33.jpg

The air was thick with moisture.

 photo DSC_0985_zps3b832bb7.jpg

We stopped frequently on our trek upward so that I could catch my breath capture some more poignant photographs:)

 photo DSC_0991_zpsc69f065a.jpg

We purchased these fancy hiking sticks from the park store. One was a gift for Papa in thanks for minding the pets while we were gone, but we figured he wouldn’t mind us “trying it out.”

 photo DSC_0992_zpsaed52c74.jpg

This is the observation tower, where 360* views are acclaimed.

 photo DSC_1000_zps1434b9e7.jpg

Up again, into thicker and thicker clouds.

 photo DSC_0001_zps621d7df9.jpg

Clingman’s Dome Trail stats
Trail Features: Great views
Roundtrip Miles: 1 mile
Total Elevation Gain: 350 feet
Highest Elevation: 6643 feet
Trail Caution: Steep
Road to dome is closed in winter.

 photo DSC_0003_zps66039b14.jpg

 photo DSC_0007_zpsdd84f999.jpg

We made it to the top!

 photo DSC_0008_zpsc4be1981.jpg

Apparently these are the mountain peaks we would have seen, had clouds not surrounded us.

 photo DSC_0016_zpsb916ce6e.jpg

 photo DSC_0019_zpsfb755deb.jpg

 photo DSC_0021_zpsa66838c9.jpg

Sorta anticlimactic and dreary.

 photo cff592e5-cf23-4dd7-9f88-f3787fc76050_zps4ef91231.jpg

Now, back down.

 photo d4d4244b-700d-4689-bae5-4786ebbeb418_zpsb6f00788.jpg

 photo dd753ad6-0be0-4e07-9348-b6282e585296_zps42f19363.jpg

We discovered that another portion of the Appalachian Trail meets this trail to the Clingman’s Dome observation tower. [We had visited a different portion of the AT on Monday.]

 photo DSC_0997_zps6e0ebe26.jpg

Becca was sure to use Papa’s hiking stick as she walked a bit down the Appalachian Trail from this junction, so she could proclaim to Papa the significant places his hiking stick had hiked.

 photo DSC_0058_zpsae0e3f5f.jpg

On downward. At least this direction was easier to walk!

 photo DSC_0060_zps8184a5c5.jpg

 photo 674bdcd8-2913-4299-aed0-0b97c13adb2f_zps0d723932.jpg

 photo 92bc71b2-b344-4808-8001-1eeba958c2c0_zpsdd0b0b86.jpg

What it could have looked like:)

Nevertheless, we are glad that we conquered the Clingman’s Dome peak. One day, I pray we can return in clear skies!

6.6.13
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Clingman’s Dome in NC

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s