Friday, March 25, 2011

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

We woke up to temps in the high 20’s but are quite warm in our camper with our catalytic heater going all night.  We hardly use our furnace at all and the heater uses no electric and little propane.

 The morning was as cool and clear as the water in the creeks as we rose in elevation on Newfound Gap Road, the only route over the Great Smoky Mountains.

                     Soon we were treated to our first snow in the Smokies. 

 This is the first snow we have driven in since Yellowstone National Park on our way home from Alaska several years ago.

 Due to improved pollution control, air quality in the park has improved 30-40% in the last decade.  On a good day at Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Smokies at 6,643ft, one can now see 81 miles.

Crossing the Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap, it was tempting to follow fresh footprints in the snow all the way to Katahdin, Maine, but that will have to wait for another day.

  We made good time today on a long driving day and crossed over the Dunbar covered bridge, built in 1880,  just before arriving at Rita and Bob’s house in the late afternoon.

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