The Rockies of Colorado and Wyoming are fantastic, but I missed my mountains.
Yesterday I returned to the Smokies after a summer away from them. Though they are certainly not as dramatic as the Teton range, and about half as high as the towering peaks of the Rockies, the Smokies are far and away my favorite mountains, and one of my favorite places period. The Smokies are very Tennessee, very Southern, very beautiful, and very much home.
I did not go to Cades Cove, my favorite place in the park. I’ll save that for another time when I can give it the full day it deserves. Instead, I drove in from Townsend (Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg constitute my no-fly zone) and then took Little River Road to the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The theater was undergoing maintenance, so no film for me to watch this time. From there I headed up to Newfound Gap, consulted my hiking book, and decided that the hike from Clingman’s Dome to Siler’s Bald was the one for me.