Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Clingman’s Dome

We finally made it home to Illinois! We pulled in Monday afternoon and since then we have had a birthday party, registered for school, grocery shopped, I had a mini photo shoot and tonight we are getting ready to go to our local fair. Whew, back to the grind stone. I also go back to work tomorrow so I thought I would reminisce one more time about our wonderful vacation to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and share some pictures that I took the day we went to Clingman’s Dome.

 

If you don’t know what Clingman’s Dome is, it’s the highest peak in the national park and the third highest peak east of the Mississippi River reaching 6,643 feet at it’s peak. On the drive up to the top, you can stop at Newfound Gap, the lowest passable point in the Smokies. It provides some spectacular views looking down on it..

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It is also the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina. So for all of my North Carolina family, I took a picture of the boys at the state line…

 

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(Chris wanted me to mention that it was his idea to pose that way. Seems I have a ham.)

A few more miles drive and you arrive at the dome. Don’t let this next picture fool you. You don’t just park, get out of the car, and walk up this observation tower. You have a half mile hike at about a 30 – 40 degree incline up to the point I took this picture. I decided every calorie I had consumed on vacation had been burned at this point because it was quite an experience. Take into account the thin air …and the hiking …..and the whining kids and I decided that I deserve a metal.

Actually the kids did great hiking this.

But I still want my metal.

 

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The concrete path makes almost a 360 curve to the top so once we got up there, I turned back and took a picture.

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There are no other words but spectacular at this point.

 

 

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This is the NC view..

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This next picture is the TN view and if you look very, very closely you can see Gatlinburg faintly in the distance.

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Just to help you out..

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The trip back down was much more enjoyable and I had to take a picture of my boys having deep discussions about their trip up to the tower and what they saw…

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It must be a very serious discussion.

It’s probably more a discussion some bug one of them has slipped into their pocket, but I’ll worry about that later.

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I had to stop and take a picture of the beautiful wild flowers and this butterfly. It beckoned me.

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And finally the birthday boy..

Happy 7th Birthday Benjamin!

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We had a wonderful time and we’re already planning next years trip to our next national park. If you’ve never been to the Smoky Mountains, it’s something you should definitely put on your bucket list!

 

Happy Wednesday.

love,

Val

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