This particular journey started many years ago…
As a teenager I was turned onto the idea of summiting the highest peaks of each state, becoming a “peak-bagger” as it were. This past summer I finally got to check off the first peak, at truly magical place called Mount Rogers that sits near the southwest corner of our lovely state. (I’ll post pics from that later on, wild ponies included!)
As the wife and I travel the country, if the schedule and mileage warrant it we will tick off these high points as we go and this time our travels had brought us to within spitting distance of Clingman’s Dome (highest peak in Tennessee!).
We started the day early to beat the heat and hopefully any crowds. The moon was still high in the sky as we began the short but strenuous trek to the top,
At an almost 13% grade it was not the easiest half mile ever!
The views make it all worthwhile though as you look through the valleys of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
On top of the summit is a spiral ramp raising you up 45 feet above the Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest (one of only a handful of sites in North America) affording the views below.
We missed sunrise by a few minutes but were treated to a gorgeous show nonetheless. Not too crowded at all, the air was quite chilly and the wind was unrelenting at that altitude.
The tower itself is beautiful as well, doesn’t quite fit in with the surroundings but isn’t an eyesore either.
The Crosstrek enjoyed the view while we summitted!
Prints are available, please email for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me know what you think in the comments! Have you been, what was your experience like?