BEFORE ENTERING Knoxville I traveled to Gatlinburg for a last look at the Great Smoky Mountains in the southern Appalachian Range. From Clingman's Dome, the highest point in Tennessee (elev. 6643'), there is a great view of the rolling mountain range. The "Smoky" name comes from the natural fog that hangs over the range, caused by damp vegetation in the valleys. Its extended wilderness is so very unique, impressive, and breathtaking, that it's designated an International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. I learned that the vast hardwood forest includes birch, buckeye, maples, magnolia, hickory, hemlock, spruce and fir. But it's overwhelming to identify them all, so I'll leave that to the experts. I'm just content to marvel at their beauty from this mountaintop observation tower.
Miles 3617, Week 42, Weather 79F🌤