This morning, after another huge breakfast of oatmeal, pancakes and Danish, we left on a car tour of the Smoky Mts. We travelled across the Smoky Mt National Park and into North Carolina. We took the Newfound Gap Rd. There are hundreds of places to stop and go for hikes but it was cold so we chose just a few. The first was Chimneys picnic area where there was a lovely babbling brook. Then we drove up the mountain further and stopped at a pull out to view the Chimney Tops at an elevation of 4700ft. Back in the car and up the mountain further to Mortons Overlook, where the views down the valley was stunning. Back in the warm car and we continued on to Newfound Gap. It was the place where President Roosevelt officially dedicated the Smoky Mts Natonal Park in 1940 but it was established in 1934.Here the Appalacian Trail can be accessed. We took a short hike along the trail for a while.Then it was back in the car and up to the highest point in the Smokies, Clingman's Dome at 6,643ft. At the car park it said 800metres to the top on a sealed track. Bill says "I can do that." So we all set off rugged up against the cold and wind. After a short climb it got steeper and steeper. We slowed down but it was still difficult. Eventually Bill's heart took fright and went into AF so he stopped and went back to the car. The rest of us carried on but it wasn't easy. Finally we made it, there was a huge observation tower up there so we walked up and it was freezing we tried to make our fingers function on the camera but it was difficult. There were fabulous 360 degree views but it was dull and overcast. We didn't stay long before we hightailed it down the mountain top to the car.
We visited some more places on the way home, which will be on the next post. I still can't get used to blogging on my iPad.
The observation tower