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Back from Vacay

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Back from Vacay

Post by LMRun on Mon May 25, 2015 9:35 pm

We were on vacay for 10 days, just got back, will report tomorrow and share some pics, I'm off the rest of this week.  I thought of Echo as we visited Clingman's Dome in the Smoky Mountains, we hiked up to the tower, a good workout in itself and best that you are in shape to do it.  Echo have you tracked this one?

From the web:  "At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. Only Mt. Mitchell (6,684 feet) and Mt. Craig (6,647), both located in Mt. Mitchell State Park in western North Carolina, rise higher."

Clingman's Dome, Great Smoky Mountains
(click for Official Link)

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Re: Back from Vacay

Post by RoadKillBill on Tue May 26, 2015 8:31 am

Love that area! Were the giant rhododendrons blooming? We were there several years ago in June and the scenery was spectacular.

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Re: Back from Vacay

Post by LMRun on Tue May 26, 2015 10:45 am

RoadKillBill wrote:Love that area!  Were the giant rhododendrons blooming?  We were there several years ago in June and the scenery was spectacular.

We did not see flowers except some wild ones and lots of dandelions.

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Re: Back from Vacay

Post by LMRun on Tue May 26, 2015 10:58 am

The Recap and Pics:

We drove 2800 miles on this trip, Austin to Memphis, Memphis to Pigeon Forge, drove around Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains, stayed 3 days then drove to Destin, FL for 3 days at the beach.  By far, my preference is the Mountains.  I brought rocks home for my rock garden.  Very Happy  Too many people at the beach but we still had a good time in FL.  The mountains are beautiful, so quiet, we rented a cabin that was at one of the highest points with a spectacular view.  Did not see any wildlife except some hawks, vultures, cardinals, we heard a woodpecker.  The weather was great with it raining on the last night we were there.  Our second night, someone was shooting fireworks and the noise echoed through the mountains, never heard anything like it before.  We drove to Clingman's Dome for an afternoon, the views there were spectacular as well.  We saw some wildflowers in bloom,  the pinecones are just starting to bud on the pine trees.  

While we were at Pigeon Forge, we visited the American Eagle Foundation, we visited also in 2012.  We met Al Cecere, the founder of AEF, some of his staff, and of course Challenger the bald eagle, Tecumseh the golden eagle, and some of the other birds of prey housed there.  We witnessed a six week old bald eagle, with little white fluff still on its head, being examined by the vet, talons and beak measured, weight, he/she was going to the hack tower on Douglas Lake.  The eaglet is as big as the parents, it will be released from the hack tower after another 6 - 8 weeks to fly free.  The day we were at AEF, there are approximately 8 eaglets at different stages of growth and age, each will be released from Douglas  Lake.  One of the eaglets, now 7 years old, has returned to Pigeon Forge to raise young, another nest has recently been discovered at the Dollywood parking lot, so it appears the eagles know where they were born and are coming home.  You can read more about AEF here: http://www.eagles.org/

The beach, what can I say, emerald water, white sand, we took a canopy this time and the Texas flag.  The water was warm, rip tides (red flags flying)on Sunday put a damper on swimming, there were not very many people in the water, they stayed close to shore, so we went for a drive instead.  In the evening we went on one of those glass bottom boats to see dolphins and the sun set, we were not disappointed.  All in all, a nice visit.

It's great to be home and sleep in my own bed, I picked up the fur babies early this morning, they are glad to be home too.

Here are the pics: TN and FL

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Re: Back from Vacay

Post by Dave Tuttle on Wed May 27, 2015 4:43 pm

Nice pictures Louise!! It looks like you and Dave had a great vacation. We spent a week in the Smoky Mountains last spring and loved it. We hiked up Clingman's Dome too. I was a little surprised at all the people who were huffing and puffing and had to wonder how many heart attacks happen on that trail. Diane and I needed a good work out so we pushed it pretty hard passing dozens of out of breath kids on the way to the top... I guess we're pretty fortunate.

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Re: Back from Vacay

Post by echoguy on Sun May 31, 2015 5:30 pm

Nice photos Louise. I have been to the top of Cligman's dome, but not the same day as a marathon yet. It is a special place and the Appalachian Trail goes right over it, so I will be back!!

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Re: Back from Vacay

Post by Rachel August on Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:10 pm

Very nice Louise!!!!

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