Up at the crack of dawn for what reason I don’t know except that what everyone else is doing so I did as well. I didn’t want to be left behind but I wanted my oatmeal today and made sure I got it. I was still last to get my stuff together and off the 3some went. Today was our ascent on Clingman’s Dome, the highest point on the entire trail. The ENTIRE Trail. With Funk in the lead we managed to miss the trail and the dome by 1/2 mile. So up another trail to get onto the parking lot and back to the Dome tower. We waited for Just Greg to climb the tower to get another perspective on the fog. After he came down I was slow to adjust my pack and the dynamic duo were off. At the intersection I wasn’t sure which way they went so, off with the pack to find my map. I had be relying on the others. After all that, they were gone and I was on my own.
What a glorious day, So many pics of mighty trees that were blown down, I even got a pic of a Ruffled Grouse along the trail. It reminded me when I was hunting with my 12 yr old son, Rob. He was behind me and I heard his safety click off. Funny how loud that click can be when a 12 yr old is behind you with a loaded shotgun. He spotted a grouse, took aim and well it hung on the trophy wall at the farm for years. This guy was lucky today, no 12 yr old in tow.
After stopping for lunch on my own two hikers appeared from nowhere. It was the same guy I talked to at breakfast two days prior. We talked about his Christian ministry of getting men out hiking. After getting to a crossroads we met up with some trail magic. The man offer Blourbon and Miami Vice a ride into Gattlinburg. Wanna go? he said to me. I had no plans to go to G-burg but God is at work.
So here I am with another shower, clean clothes and staying at a Christian Motel catering to hikers, staying in a room with 3 single beds with a strong Christian Man and a former Marine who says he’s Buddist (kidding).
Geeze, hope they don’t hit me when I snore.