April 14, 2017
It was a gorgeous hike up to Clingman’s Dome. I didn’t hoping the sunrise crew but the view was spectacular, nonetheless! We had our permits checked on our way there so it was a good thing I wasn’t trying to sneak through. Drogo’s was waiting at the base of the lookout tower and we headed up for some sightseeing and picture-taking.
We’ve climbed high enough that most of the trees here are pines. I loove pine trees! They give even winter a feeling of warmth and life! Moss and lichen we’re thick and made the forest seem ancient. Storybook-like. It made for a very pleasant hike to Newfound Gap where Drogo’s would be departing. We had lunch and watched all the people, feeling a bit overwhelmed by their quantity. Drogo’s gave me his power bank (reverse birthday?) right before he was picked up and a couple of older gentlemen gave us some sweets to fuel the rest of our hike.
It was an easy 3.5 miles uphill to our shelter where we seem to have caught up with the bubble of hikers that started mud-March. They’re a good crowd but a bit young and rambunctious. We’ll probably be past them soon, as well.
15.1 miles today and planning on 20 tomorrow. The younguns are off in the woods laughing up a storm so I’ll be utilizing my ear plugs tonight. I also did a little thru-hiker magic and left an extra pair in the shelter. Gotta look out for one another!