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I've Had Enough Adventure For One Day

Day 23

Saturday April 15, 2015

7:15am - 6:00pm

Miles: 189.0 - 202.5

Hot & Sunny

Tented at Mt. Collins Shelter

5962 Elevation

The Great Smoky Mountains

Clingman's Dome is the highest point on the Appalachian Trail at 6643 feet elevation. It is a tourist trap like Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. View seekers can drive up the mountain then hike the paved 1/4 mile to the top from the parking lot.

The ramped, round observation tower is easily walked by anyone who desires to put one foot in front of the other and also allows anyone with physical challenges access to see the grand panorama as well.

Today being a Saturday automatically meant the place would be busy. Combine that with Easter weekend and the numbers were staggering. Shortcake and I cruised to the top of the observation deck, snagged a few selfies and pics and headed back down to the base. At one point I felt a panic attack arising in my chest as I stood among the tourists trying to capture the perfect photo. I don't do well in crowds and after spending three weeks in the woods that trait only worsens.

Back at the base Shortcake and I rested and snacked on the rock wall. As we were doing so, a junior high boys and his mother strolled by after their trip to the top. He said, "I am tired. I want to go home now and sit on the couch. That is enough adventure for one day!" Shortcake and I had all we could do to contain our laughter.

When we too had endured all we could, we packed up and headed on our way. We still had 4 miles to go before our home away from home for the night. We still had a short climb between us and then. As if Clingman's Dome wasn't enough the trail designers had to add Mt. Collins.

It was another beautiful day in the Smoky's. We had great views, the hike was fun and challenging and I finally found ramps. A wild, garlic-oniony edible plant I carried all day for Shortcake then she forgot to add it to her supper.

Happy Hiking.

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