The main objective today was to "climb" Clingmans Dome. After that it was do whatever strikes our fancy.

We were driving along the main road in the park and I said to Ed, "what's crossing the road?". His answer was "a bear". We pulled to the side and shot a couple of photos through the window. The bear was moving, so it's not the greatest photo.

As it was sunny we thought we'd stop at the Newfound Gap (it's where the trailhead for Charles Bunion is) and see if we could get some better photos. It was a bit better but that smoky blue haze was still out there.

Another attempt.

Clingman's Dome is the highest point in the park. It's a half mile hike up a paved walkway to get to the observation tower. This is another really popular spot --- when we were leaving there were a few empty parking spots but a lot more vehicles were arriving. We were glad we arrived early.

The park left an elevation sign that you could hold then have your photo taken.

A view from the top.

After we left Clingmans Dome Ed stopped at a couple of places for photos.


We decided to continue on the main highway through the park and ended up at another mill. This one has been restored and flour is milled here occasionally.

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The mill sluice, looking towards the mill and away from the mill.

Next stop was the Oconaluftee Visitor Center so we could walk the Oconaluftee River Trail. Again, an easy trail maybe a couple of miles return. It was a very peaceful and easy walk made better by others on the trail. We hadn't gone to far when we some Elk resting not far off the trail. Continuing we found a mom and young elk hanging out in the river.


Probably a 6-month-old Elk. We saw several other Elks as we walk along the trail.

When we got back to the visitor center this 2- or 3-year-old male Elk was hanging around.