Chimney Tops

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I had this crazy idea that because it was New Year’s Day — and quite cold for East Tennessee — everyone would be inside watching football games, and thus the National Park would be empty.

Boy was I wrong. The Smokies were as crowded as any summer day. Chimney Tops is one of its most popular trails, and there were a lot of people on it. It was a cold day, but by the midpoint I was sweating and my heart was in my mouth. Only Ingrid’s gentle prodding kept me going. But we made it! We didn’t get all the way up to the summit — I didn’t feel like crawling on my hands and knees — but we got within a hundred feet, which was good enough.

Great day, and a great way to start the new year.

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