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Clingmans Dome

October 2, 2012

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Tennessee & in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Until about 25 years ago, this steep half-mile trail was fully wooded with old growth Balsam Fir Trees, but with the infestation of the Pine Bark Beetle coupled with the inaction of the National Park Service, there are now only skeletons of the once magnificent forest. It still smells like Christmas trees though!

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It was good to see younger firs making a go of it since Ladybugs have been introduced into the area & the beetles on the decrease.

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This trail is paved all the way to the dome tower, very little animal activity the day we walked but we did hear a few songbirds.
From the inside of the clouds that covered the mountain all was gray until we encountered this:
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DH forgot to pack a long-sleeve shirt or jacket so the tower was a bit chilly for him with a 30 mph wind at 47 degrees at 10am.

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The clouds would break for a brief moment & then cover us again. I managed to finally get a photo of the blue sky!

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Even the tower spiral looks eerie in the half-light of clouds.

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Tired of waiting for a clear 360-degree view, we climbed down to DH’s car with the heated seats.
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