Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Watching The Sunrise From Clingmans Dome

Today is my last Saturday in the mountains for a while. Wanting to make the most of the day, we decided to drive to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and watch the sunrise. It meant getting up at 3:30AM, and driving to Tennessee, but it was worth it. It was still dark when we arrived. We stepped out of the car and were blasted by strong winds and freezing temperatures (shouldn't have been a surprise at 6600 feet, and though we had coats, we never thought to bring hats or gloves). But the sky twinkled with thousands (no exaggeration) of stars. It was awe inspiring. And then we saw it, a shooting star...the perfect start to our morning! When the tips of our noses were frozen, we got back into the car and turned on the heater for a while. I noticed the sky to the east beginning to brighten, so we made the half mile trek up the mountain to the observation deck. Another thing we didn't anticipate was the effect the altitude would have on us. We started up the path with lots of energy and enthusiasm, quickly finding ourselves winded and a little dizzy. We slowed our pace and made it to the deck. Remember that wind and freezing temperatures I mentioned? Of course, it was magnified at the top (click here to see the deck). But we were rewarded for the effort...
At this point, we were so cold we went down the ramp to get out of the wind. After getting some feeling back into my hands, I made my way back to the top. Johny decided he was too cold and would watch from a spot on the Appalachian Trail. 

I knew sunrise from this vantage point would be breathtaking (in more ways than one). What I didn't realized was how emotional I would feel; it really did take my breath away.

Our day didn't end with the sunrise, I have much more to tell, including a bear sighting (no kidding), but will save the rest for tomorrow (too many pictures in this post already).

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,


Linda said...

Absolutely glorious!

Unknown said...

It is pretty but I wouldn't have wanted to be in the cold for it.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I remember how winded we were walking up that ramp. But no way could we get up that early. I am so glad you did and you shared your beautiful pictures!

Vicki Lane said...

Thank you for braving the cold to capture this amazing sunrise!

Lise said...

Thanks everyone, it was worth braving the cold!