Trip 3--May 15, 2003

Highest Point in Tennessee

Clingman's Dome

6643 feet (2025 meters) above sea level

Traveling Companions: none
Vehicle: My 1997 Ford Ranger

Here is the view,
,
from the top of the UFO-shaped observation tower,
,
atop Clingman's Dome, which is in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The top picture was taken at about 10:00 AM. I spent the previous day driving most of the North Carolina part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and then used my tent for the first time. I woke up early and headed for the summit. It was pretty sunny when I got to the parking lot, but as I walked up the paved, but very step, mile-round-trip trail, the fog really came in. It was very eerie as I was the only one there at the top, and the trees are all being killed by the Balsam wooly adelgid, a tiny insect accidentally imported from Europe. Look:

The dotted line on the plaque in the foreground of the top picture is the Tennessee-North Carolina border. About 50 yards from the tower is the Appalachian Trail:

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