Clingman’s Dome — at 6,643 feet tall — is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains and the third highest summit east of the Mississippi River. You can drive most of the way to Clingman’s Dome, but the half-mile long, paved trail leading from the parking lot to the observation tower is quite steep. It gains 330 feet in elevation in just that half-mile.
This is where we planned to go on our third day in Tennessee.
Early in the morning, Violet came to our bed as cold as a marble statue and I snuggled up with her to get her warm. Dave took this picture while we slept.
A kind lady took this picture for us.
The first overlook on the way to Clingman’s Dome. Gatlinburg can be seen in the distance.
Starting up the trail to the dome.
Violet didn’t last 5 minutes before wanting to be carried. This proved to be a problem as we went along…
The trees in this area (mostly Fraser firs) are being killed by an insect called the balsam woolly adelgid.
It was a fight getting Violet to walk up the path at all. At this point, we refused to carry her any more. Dave and I could see that we were very close to the end, but Violet had a noteworthy tantrum while people passing by gave her words of encouragement. Of course, I had to take a picture.
Standing atop the summit, you can see the curved ramp leading to the top.
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge could be seen in the distance. Bluff Mountain was 20 miles away and I could see much farther than that!
Walking down was much easier than climbing up!
Dave taking an afternoon snooze.
Waiting for Daddy to wake up.
For dinner, we went to The Old Mill restaurant. Dave and I have talked about their corn fritters ever since we first had some in March of 2008.
They are still fantastic.
What a lovely end to a perfect day. (Too bad I got a very painful sunburn while hiking earlier.)
(To be concluded…)