Camping — Day 3: Clingman’s Dome

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…)


17 responses to “Camping — Day 3: Clingman’s Dome

  1. This made me smile. I am so happy you guys had a wonderful time! Great pics. I want to go now! Lol love all your pics. Cant wait to hear more about your vaca!

    • I love making you smile. 🙂
      Our vacation was all that I hoped it would be. Really. How cool is that?!
      I’m glad you’re enjoying the pics. I loved taking them!

  2. What a wonderful trip. Your daughter is too cute and a great little hiker! I have two girls and they love to travel too.

  3. lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love when you take pics of her unhappiness–it makes me laugh SO HARD. I have got to remember to do that with my own. 🙂 Your trip looks like such good times!

    • Your comment made ME laugh. How sadistic are we that we laugh at our children when they are in such distress?
      Oh yeah. I remember now. It’s either laugh or cry, and I stopped crying a while ago. Like, 2 years. 😉

      I always say, I must document the bad times along with the good, lest she not believe me in 20 years when I try to tell her how it was!

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