No school on Monday meant I had to go to the mountains. I couldn’t wait much longer.
We left campus around ten and drove down through Maryville and then out Highway 336 straight up to the Foothills Parkway and the Look Rock parking lot. The quarter-mile paved hike past the air quality station and up to the observation tower was quick and easy. It was cool and cloudy. Felt like spring, but still looked like winter. The tower rises above the trees and the observation deck exposes you to the winds, which were probably gusting near 30 mph. Even on a dreary overcast day, the view is fantastic. You can see almost the entire range of the Smokies within the park. Maybe on a clearer day the whole line would be visible. Gregory Bald, Rocky Top, Thunderhead, Clingmans Dome, LeConte. They all sit there watching you watching them. Maryville lies behind you, and the plateau and the Cumberland Mountains mark the far horizon. Like almost everywhere over here, the view would be incredible in Autumn.