this place has been on my hiking bucketlist for years now. it's so close to us while visiting in east tennessee. however, it has never worked out. we packed a bag for a full day in the mountains and set off for the smokies. the drive up the mountain takes patience but on a clear and warm spring day, it is peaceful. we rolled the windows down, turned on lord huron and made our way to the top. clingman's dome is the highest mountain in the great smoky mountain national park with an elevation of 6,643 feet. once we made it, the wind was gusting over thirty mph and the temperature had dropped fifteen degrees. we decided to attempt the half mile hike up to the observation tower where the wind was nearly unbearable. after taking in the panoramic views of the earth below, we decided to head back to the car. we originally had planned to hike one of the nearby trails but chose to save it for a warmer and less breezy day. we picked up another patch and a few postcards for friends and made our way back to the base of the mountain where we noted how fortunate we felt to be able to visit such beautiful places.