New Farm Park, Brisbane

Thursday, November 20, 2014

EXPLORING THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS

Sunday 16/11/14
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.
Our hire car and Kathy at Chimneys picnic grounds
Chimneys picnic ground
Learning my new point and shoot

Driving higher and higher

The Chimney Tops Mountain
It was very cold
Mortons Overlook

Newfound Gap

Cold,wet and foggy

Climbing up to Clingman's Dome the highest point in the Smokies


Kathy and Rob on the observation tower at Clingman's Dome. It was freezing cold up there. 360 degree views. 

The observation tower

25 comments:

  1. Hi Diane.. I didn't realise you were off traveling in the US, sounds like uou're having lots of fun, cold though :) you will appreciate summer when you get back ho e I bet :)

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  2. beautiful area, but i can feel the damp cold from your photos!

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  3. Lovely shots. My husband and I tent camped up there one week a few years ago and nearly froze to death. Rained alot with some tent leaking, and then when it started snowing we cut our trip short and fled. beautiful scenery though and lots of wonderful hiking trails. Do hope you see Cade's Cove.

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  4. that is one amazing observation tower.. and i like the smoky tree shot. i remember the first time we saw icicle like this, when i was 10 years old, we were in total awe... i have seen most of this, we had to drive through these places to get to Kentucky

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  5. The observation tower is an interesting and clever design. It must get busy there in the summer.

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  6. Are the browned-off flowers a variety of "Queen Anne's Lace"?

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    1. I have no idea. Not good with flower names.

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  7. WOW awesome photos I have never been there and you are a world away from home enjoying it. INCREDIBLE Enjoy enjoy. Hug B

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  8. Hi, You have a SPAM above this comment. I get this same thing on occasion--and immediately put it in SPAM.... Hopefully, Blogger will catch it....

    So glad you got to see the Smokies despite the horrible weather. I still wish we had been able to get there to be with you on that day... I love the Smokies in all seasons--but hope you will return sometime in another season!!!!! Great photos...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  9. Cold, wet and foggy!!! it looks gorgeous Diane but I would have followed Bill and high-tailed it back to the hire-car. Your pics are great.

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  10. Lovely views, like the fog, makes interesting photos. The icicles look great.

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  11. I'm glad you were able to drive up and over the mountain, but you definitely look cold at the picnic area. That 'short' hike to the observation deck at Clingman's Dome is anything but easy. I hope Bill is okay.

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  12. Beautiful fall color still ... Sorry you got in on this nasty early winter! I climbed Clingman while Bill waited below ... He didn't even give his AF a chance to kick in !

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  13. Looks like a nice walk. That's the good thing with walking in the cold- keep moving to keep warm! Hope Dad is okay with his AF! Love to you both, from Paris. Xxx

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  14. Lovely shots. Hard to imagine the cold in the heat we are having at the moment.

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  15. Makes me want to visit there and see for myself, the photos are bloody marvelous

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  16. Just loving this trip Diane - loving it all!!

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  17. Hi Diane, I have to go back and catch up on your first post with your USA visit.. I loved visiting the Smoky Mtn Nat'l Park. The hike to the dome is tough. Gorgeous scenic views.. Your photos are wonderful, it looks cold though.. Thanks for sharing your trip!

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  18. Reading this post brought back memories, Diane, as we also hiked to Clingman's Dome on our Blue Ridge road rrip newrly 2 years ago. We travelled in late Sept so it was a bit warmer.

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  19. It looks colder than cold to me! Beautiful spot by the look of it but winter may not be my choice to visit it :-) Keep warm t'other Diane

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  20. Still it looks like you are enjoying that beautiful place. Hope to get there some day myself and I have heard about Clingman's Dome - read about it in the book A Walk In the Woods.

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  21. You will be glad to come back to hot, dry and sunny Brisbane. As usual love you and Bill's travel log as they are so interesting and makes me want to experience a totally different holiday in USA. There is so much to see there. Catch you at camera club.

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  22. You make Tennessee sound like an absolute must-see. Did altitude make the climbing more difficult? I'm trying to work out how to blog of an iPad. If anyone can get the hang of it it will be you!

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    1. My daughter, Carol-Ann, blogs on her iPad and she uses Wordpress too.

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  23. Wow, it doesn't look very warm there, but beautiful !

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