Friday, October 10, 2008

Clingmans Dome Trail - Last Day in Tennessee

This was our last day here in Tennessee, and we made it count. We got up early to beat the traffic. The four of us, Dortha and Mark, Jim and I left around 8:30, heading south to drive the road up to where we could hike the last half mile to the highest point in the Smoky Mountains - Clingmans Dome. Mark was the driver again today.

As we started out, it was pretty foggy and misty, but we soon got above the clouds:

Looking down from a turn-out along the road, we could see that the colors are getting more intense every day:

We found plenty of parking spaces at the end of the road, where a steep hiking trail leads the way to the observation tower at the top of Clingmans Dome, at an elevation of 6,643'. It's the highest point in the Smoky Mountain National Park, and one of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River.

We enjoyed the view from the parking area before starting up the trail:

We got to view a little wildlife before starting up the trail:

Did I mention this trail is steep? This is looking back down the trail as we climbed:

Ah, we made it! This is the very top of the observation tower:

The Appalacian Trail crossed the Clingmans Dome trail, Mark looks like he wanted a ride!

We don't look to bad after that hike:

Back at the trail head, we saw more wildlife:

Back down the road, we stopped to take in more of this awesome place:

After leaving the park, we made tracks back to Pigeon Forge, we were all hungry! Mexican food was our choice. We enjoyed our meal, and Dortha and I counted the points, although that hike did earn us a few "Activity Points". For readers who are not familiar with how Weight Watchers works, you have a certain number of daily points you can eat, then you can use 35 more points per week in addition to the basic number, if you want. You also can earn activity points by being physically active. I figured I earned about 3 extra points today, so that helped cover the Mexican food.

We stopped at another small mall to do more shopping before heading back home for a much needed rest period.

Tomorrow we travel to North Carolina! We've had such a great time here, but we can't wait to see what's next.

1 comment:

Janna and Mike said...

Your photos are gorgeous, Ellie especially the butterflies, we are getting more white stuff today, UGH!