... the wind was calm. High mountain calm is rare. Today (Sunday March 11th) was the second calm day in a row. And east of the Mississippi, you don't get any higher than this observation deck:
This is the classic 1950's-style architectural icon atop 6643' Clingman's Dome. The access road isn't open yet, and it was late enough that the other hikers had gone. I had the entire place to myself - that alone is an experience that can't be topped.
And, of course, there was the unlimited visibility. It was better than in the annotated display boards. Here ... look for yourself, first to the east:
And to the north:
The hike in and out was sixteen miles of mostly well-groomed trail - only rare pockets of the kind of out-of-control wash-away ruts I hiked yesterday. The trail maintainers have been hard at work. To paraphrase the inscription on Christopher Wren's grave: "If you seek their monument, look about you."
Yes, there were lots of ups and downs, and it was made tougher because I was trying to do it on what was supposed to be a rest day after 32 miles yesterday. But tomorrow's weather was forecast to be miserable, so today was the day to do this: to stand on top of the Appalachian Mountains.
Here is the map of today's route, with link to many more photos:
AT Day 64 - Clingmans Dome at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Knoxville, Tennessee
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