|Atop Clingman's! The route that I traveled runs over those mountains, and more mountains, and more mountains, across foothills and farmland, through palms and sand, all the way to the sea.|
|Hiking the Bodie Dike Trail on Hatteras Island|
|Walking through the ever-present melding of civilization and natural landscape in the Piedmont|
|Atop the rocky ridgeline heading further west and deeper into the Mountains|
|Giving some love to my two favorite trails: The MST and AT. Here at Clingman's Dome is where they meet. It's fitting that I finish on the trail on which I first discovered my love for long distance hiking.|
|My morning summit atop Clingman's Dome|
|Deep Creek in the Smokey Mountains|
In the morning, I had just 3.5 miles to go to the summit. FreeWil and I took our time, climbing the last 1000 feet to the top. The fragrant Fir and Spruce were ever-present and the trail was fairly easy with large rocks to hop and dry brown dirt framed by moss and ferns on either side. Once at the top, however, as you can see, the summit was socked in by fog. It lent its own atmosphere to the finish, but I desperately wanted to see some views and simply hang about in the sun at the base of the tower. FreeWil and I took a couple of photos and then it promptly started to rain a cold, steady rain. We retreated to the visitor center a half mile down to await another friend's arrival.
|The Great Robino and I at the top!|
|The Botanical Hiker atop Clingman's Dome|
|FreeWil and I at the top|
|View from atop Clingmans Dome|
And so now, I head back to New York to family and friends and woods that I have missed. I have a couple of book events I'll be attending to there, but then it will be time for a relocation. That location is yet to be determined, but I am on the fence between moving further into upstate NY in preparation for another long trail or back to sweet Asheville to immerse myself in the MST and these mountains I also consider home awhile longer.
The blog will be continuing, as I will post more events having to do with not only, A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Mountains to Sea Trail, but future plant walks and classes, herbal and hiking endeavors. It will also continue to be an educational source for learning about your local plants and trails.
Thank you all for supporting me in this journey! You make the trail what it is! And it's been one helluva trek!!!