“Apps” as in the Appalachian Mountains, not mobile apps or webapps – although both of those were discussed at the ACM Computing Conference I was attending in Gatlinburg, TN. I have been attending this conference in Gatlinburg every year for the past 13 years (including this year). Since I didn’t start my cycling blog until Summer 2008, my first reports on our Gatlinburg adventures were on our old family blog. I’ve had so many adventures over the years in Gatlinburg as documented below –
- 2006 – Family adventure in Gatlinburg, first time up to Newfound Gap
- 2007 – Broken crank arm climbing Clingman’s (loud pop near Chimney Peaks trailhead)
- 2008 – Too sleepy and too cold!
- 2009 – First successful summit of Clingman’s Dome (parking lot)
- 2010 – Cherokee Orchard scenic descent plus crashing on Clingman’s descent
- 2011 – Going for the Clingman’s Dome KOM plus Waterrock Knob
- 2012 – Trying again on the Clingman’s KOM plus Waterrock Knob revisited
- 2013 – Epic mountain bike ride training for Gravel Grovel
- 2014 – Failed everesting attempt of Clingman’s Dome
- 2015 – Successful everesting of Clingman’s Dome!
- 2016 – Clingman’s Dome and Mt Mitchell on same ride (288 miles round trip)
- 2017 – 2x Clingman’s Dome Eddington century a week before getitng hit by car
- 2018 – 416 miles and nearly 37,000 feet of climbing riding from Gatlinburg, Tennessee all the way back home to Hoover, Alabama.
Day 1 – Gatlinburg, TN to Chattanooga, TN via Clingman’s Dome and Cherohala Skyway
I wanted to get home to Birmingham relatively early on Sunday so I wanted to get as early a start as possible Saturday morning so I could get to the hotel in Chattanooga early and then leave again early Sunday morning. I woke up at 2:45AM even before my alarm went off (set for 3AM) so I was up, dressed, and ready to go shortly after 3AM. I left Gatlinburg with temps in the low 30s knowing that I would be fine for the first couple hours of the ride on the 25 mile climb up to the top of Clingman’s Dome.
My only concern was whether the sleet, snow, and rain from a couple days earlier would have dried out completely or left slippery roads. There were a few wet spots, and a few icy spots, but no ice completely covering any of the road so I could always find a clear path up. The temp did drop down into the mid 20s around Alum Cave, the coldest part of the climb, before rising again to 30-32 degF by the top of the mountain.