Jun 06, 2013
Jun 10, 2013
At 66,000 ft it provides a 360 degree view for as much as 100 miles....on that infrequent 'clear day' that is. The day we visited we were so surrounded by haze...we thought of them as low hanging clouds, as indeed it was both cold and precipitating at the top.
In the old days 100 years ago or so, the visitors to this point had to climb up a wooden forestry tower to get a 360 degree view above the tree tops. It would look something like this:
The tall straight pine trees are host to old man's beard, a harmless epiphyte.
It's Sunday and the mists are rising up the hills that surround us. As a 'flatlander' the hills and Mtns, valleys and fast running streams that surround us are 'eye candy' ... I romanticized that the haze throughout the Smoky's was the result of air currents and humidity from the dense canopy. Come to find out, while that may be a factor, pollution from the entire eastern seaboard is said to be the cause. Ugh. I prefer my notion. There is a beautiful effect of mists rising up the nearby mtn side as I sit on the porch and have my morning coffee. I think I would need a more sophisticated camera to be able capture thar ethereal image . There is also the perspective of distance that mtns and valleys provide...and the everchanging play of sunlight which, instantly, can totally change the view...so that one could stand in the same spot and click away endlessly and forever capture mood nuances. We have decided to drive to the highest point in TN (almost the highest point in the Eastern Seaboard), Clingman's Dome which has been a tourist draw for more than 100 years! The parking lot is generous and there is a gift shop where I bought the tots books on the splendors of the mtns. Only Lori, Brian, Bekah (in her stroller) and I made the climb. Silas and Grams decided to await our return. The pathway up was steep! but paved and broad.