I climbed Clingmans Dome, the Highpoint of Tennessee at 6643 feet, on Tuesday, June 1st, 2004. It was my 23rd state highpoint.
After checking out of my timeshare condo at the Sky Valley Resort, in Dillard, GA on Sunday morning, I drove to Blairsville, GA where I spent an enjoyable few days visiting an old Marine Corp buddy who has a nice cabin in the hills nearby. Tuesday morning I said goodbye and drove north to the Smoky Mountain National Park. I arrived at the Clingmans Dome parking area at approximately 12:30PM. It was very crowded and I wound up parking about as far away from the trailhead as possible and still be in the parking area. I began my hike at about 1:00PM. It was a beautiful, clear day and 60 degrees, although it was hot and humid at the lower altitudes of the park and in the nearby towns. The trail was very crowded with many fat, obviously out of shape people. I doubt half of them made it the ½ mile to the top. I was concerned that somebody was going to have a heart attack and my CPR card was expired. I dont recall seeing any Park Rangers on the trail although there was probably somebody with a portable radio nearby, especially with such a large crowd of people exerting themselves. I was feeling good after spending the past week hiking and jogging in the mountains of northeastern Georgia. The condo I stayed at in Georgia was at about 6000 feet so the altitude of Clingmans Dome didnt bother me at all. I walked quickly to the summit in 15 minutes and enjoyed spectacular views. I didnt stay long because the area was way too crowded for my taste.
After I left Clingmans Dome I drove north toward Black Mountain, KY, arriving there at 6:30PM.