April 13 - Mount Collins Shelter (202.2)

Next morning our plan is to go the eight miles to Mt. Collins shelter, but first we get to go to Clingman's Dome, at 6,655 feet the highest spot on the AT. Get there around 11 AM, and Achin gets there about a half hour later after heading off on the wrong trail.

There is a cement observation tower here built in 1959 with a sloping and curved walkway. Avoid it to begin with, since there has been a strong wind blowing since last night and it's been a cold blow. Families are here, and get a lot of questions about the hike and "good luck" from all. Walk to top of tower. As clouds blow off, get to look back at where we've hiked for the last few days.

Stay at base of tower for about an hour, then continue to the shelter. Take our time and find an ATC (versus Park Service) Ridgerunner is here. Composition of hikers seems to be changing, more serious and no partying.


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