Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Clingman's Dome

We left Derrick Knob, excited to reach Clingman's Dome, which is also the highest point on the AT. The trail was actually easier than the previous two days, but would be a long one of 14 miles, with a pretty good climb up to Clingman's.
All went well until we were within .5 of the top. I needed a break, but Keith didn't, so I told him I'd grab water and meet him at the top. I started up later and took the wrong trail for about half a mile before I noticed no white blazes and no trekking pole holes. Keith later told me he started to do the same thing, but someone pointed him in the right direction. I finally made it back and caught up with him and had a beautiful day for great pics at the top. We felt like celebrities. It was really crowded with spring breakers and many people had lots of questions about the trail. One lady even took our picture!
I have a lovely scab across my nose. Let's just say that sunburns and breathe right strips (been fighting a cold) do not mix! Lucky I don't have a mirror.
We hiked on to Mt. Collins Shelter which was only half full. We took a chance and tent camped, and Rangers did come into camp, but once they found out we were thru-hikers, did not ticket us. Whew!
There was a 6th grader with his dad (former thru-hiker, Wayfarer, '93) on his first backpacking trip. Everyone at the shelter made him feel like one of the gang, and he was having a great time. His trail name was Peeper, because he loved frogs so much.
It was a bit damp and cool, so I ended up journaling inside by the fire where Animal was drying his clothes out. We also met Stonekicker. There are two Irish college students on spring break, and they've been fun. The one wears a batman belt buckle, so we are trying to name them Batman and Robin, but I don't think Robin is too keen on the idea. Batman's grandmother's maiden name is Geraghty!

- Steady and F100

Location:Mt. Collins Shelter


Curtis said...

Wow! Most Triumphant! :)

larrynmary said...

We were at Clingman's Dome and Gatlinburg last May. I did well to walk from the parking lot to the observation point. lol. Our 3 day trip to the area was our 40th wedding anniversary trip. Beautiful country !