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#3701548 - 07/01/14 07:55 PM Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1652
Loc: East

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...... and back.

Well, My wife and I were back at it again this weekend. We decided to do the out and back to Silers Bald before the bald disappeared. This was an awesome hike with some of the best views in the Smokies. Anyone wanting to do a scenic hike should do this. I'm not going to write much about this trip and just let the pictures do the talking.

BTW, it was 56 degrees out when we got there and 66 degrees when we finished at 2 in the afternoon. It felt awesome to be in some cool air.

Clingmans Dome. We decided to hit this first instead of last. It was a good choice. There was just another couple on the tower when we were there at first light. Upon our return, it was a zoo.


Mt. Leconte. It was pretty cool that we were actually at a higher altitude that it. We were basically looking down on it.


I wonder how they came up with the name Smoky Mountains!?! North Carolina side.

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#3701553 - 07/01/14 08:07 PM Re: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1652
Loc: East

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It was strange that the North Carolina side had the smoky look to it.


But, the Tennessee side was clear.


This wasn't just a one time thing. To get to Silers Bald, you follow the Appalachian Trail as it borders NC and TN. Your left foot is in NC and your right is in TN. The trail is along a steep ridgeline and the views off both sides in phenomenal the entire length of the trail. Time and time again, the TN side had no clouds, NC side was full of them.

In wet years, over 8 feet of rain falls on some of the higher peaks in the Smokies. This was obvious by the ecosystem that the trail went through. The very highest areas were covered in moss, ferns, and if you stepped off trail, the ground had a spongy feel to it. I wish I'd taken some more pictures of the place, but you can get an idea of what it was like by these.


A really cool tree trunk.





Edited by Buzzard Breath (07/01/14 08:44 PM)

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#3701556 - 07/01/14 08:14 PM Re: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1652
Loc: East

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Just over 3 miles into the hike you come across one of the shelters for the Appalachian Trail.
Double Spring Gap Shelter


A night in luxury.


NC


TN. Yes, that is a storm brewing. We started the day with clear skies. It then rained. Cleared up again. Rained again. And, we finished with clear skies.

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#3701568 - 07/01/14 08:24 PM Re: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald [Re: Buzzard Breath]
timberjack86
14 Point


Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 8095
Loc: Grundy county

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Great pictures! Thanks for sharing
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#3701570 - 07/01/14 08:31 PM Re: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1652
Loc: East

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I'm glad my wife had read a little about Silers Bald and knew what to look for. Because when we got there, I would have just kept going because there wasn't a bald anymore. It was completely grown over. I knew the balds were shrinking, but this thing was gone.


http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/grsm/4/intro.htm

I snapped a quick picture of the survey marker and we hiked out a short manway to an overlook to eat our picnic that we packed. I took no pictures of the ham sandwiches we packed. I figured you would know what a simple ham sandwich looked like.


The hike back was just more of the same awesome views but in reverse. But, just as soon as you think your about done, you come to Mount Buckley. This is a real [censored] kicker for a finish. The trail goes straight up the ridge. No switchbacks, no breaks, straight up.


All in all, it was a physically demanding hike and a great start to a busy week.


http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/silers_bald.htm

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#3701929 - 07/02/14 11:47 AM Re: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Brisco Darlin
10 Point


Registered: 04/24/12
Posts: 3256
Loc: East Tn.

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cool pics. I'm heading up there hiking in the morning. Not exactly sure which trail we are going on yet.
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I'm a little mean but i make up for it by being real healthy.

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#3702004 - 07/02/14 01:31 PM Re: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald [Re: Brisco Darlin]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1652
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: Brisco Darlin
cool pics. I'm heading up there hiking in the morning. Not exactly sure which trail we are going on yet.


Weekdays are the only way to go. After this past weekend and the bear jam we got in coming off the mountain, I'm done with the park for a while. Or, we may go in one of the back ways that don't see the typical traffic. We're headed to Savage Gulf for the 4th.

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#3705498 - 07/08/14 09:04 PM Re: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Tennessee Lead
8 Point


Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 1799
Loc: Putnam County, TN

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I ain't saw much of them mountains over there but what I have saw ain't nothing anymore beautiful in the world to me.
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#3705878 - 07/09/14 10:07 AM Re: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Brisco Darlin
10 Point


Registered: 04/24/12
Posts: 3256
Loc: East Tn.

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 Originally Posted By: Buzzard Breath
 Originally Posted By: Brisco Darlin
cool pics. I'm heading up there hiking in the morning. Not exactly sure which trail we are going on yet.


Weekdays are the only way to go. After this past weekend and the bear jam we got in coming off the mountain, I'm done with the park for a while. Or, we may go in one of the back ways that don't see the typical traffic. We're headed to Savage Gulf for the 4th.
Love savage gulf. i have done alot of backpacking out there. proposed to my wife on the stone door overlook.
_________________________
I'm a little mean but i make up for it by being real healthy.

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#3760072 - 09/10/14 09:42 PM Re: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald [Re: Brisco Darlin]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 931
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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Nice!
_________________________

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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