Triple whammy today and great weather.  The view at Clingmans was not spectacular but Charlies Bunion made up for it.  These are all three places I remember well but the weather is rarely good.

I was up early and out just after 7 am.  It was late enough I did not need the light.  I had two miles or so to climb Clingmans Dome, which is the highest point on the AT.  Everyone makes it out to be a big climb, but it was quite tame.  The fog was gone and the air cold and breezy. As soon as I broke out to where I could get some views, I could see that the entire area for fifty miles was undercast.  Only the tallest mountains were peeking out.  I was 1000 feet above the highest cloud in the sky.  The only bad part about the climb is all the grass was soaked and soaked my shoes and socks within an hour.

Once I got to the observation platform the clouds had cleared a tiny bit, but I could really only see the big ones like Leconte.  I didn’t spend much time up there because it was cold.  

Next up was Newfound Gap.  I expected to get there for a late lunch and got there exactly when I expected, about 1:15.  I took a long lunch there in the sun and dried everything out and changed my socks.

 It was a long climb up to Icewater Springs Shelter, one I remembered well from 1989.  Back then I had to camp on the ground and had baby skunks suck the salt out of my hair in the middle of the night.  This time it was just a quick stop for water before moving on.

Just over a mile after the shelter came Charlies Bunion, a large exposed rock outcropping with fantastic views.  It was pretty crowded with perhaps a dozen people.

I kept going to make it to Peck’s Corner Shelter, which is a half mile off trail   I got there right on time, a little after 7 and there was plenty of room.  A quick dinner and off to bed.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.