W4C/WM-001 (Clingmans Dome) & W4C/WM-004 (Waterrock Knob) 06/12/2017

Another two activation day! Clingman’s dome lies on the Tennessee/North Carolina Border and is the highest mountain in Tennessee. There is a steep hike up from the parking lot to the summit, but it is paved and is not too bad. The summit is very crowded with tourist, but just a few feet away from the path to the observation platform is the MST (Mountains to the Sea Trail) I found a little area within the activation zone to set up. 24 QSO’s on 40 meters in short order. The clouds completely surrounded us by the end of the activation and it rained on us most of the way down. This would happen to us many more times throughout the week.

We were headed to Asheville and had planned to activate two lower point summits that afternoon when I decided to check my SOTA Finder app. Turns out we were a half a mile from Waterrock Knob. This was a great find. Fairly steep hike to the top with amazing views. Of course I started hearing thunder when we got to the top. I decided to try and activate 2 meters only if I could. I had to call CQ for quite a while to get the first three.
I then went to a couple of local repeaters to find a station willing to QSY and try a simplex contact. Thanks to Michael WB4MJ for the 4th QSO to activate the summit. And of course it rained on us on the hike down. The visitors center there was very nice with lots of souvenirs and some maps/gear.

The day was a great success. We arrived in Asheville and stopped into the Asheville Brewery and Pizza. We ordered the Hummus plate as an appetizer. When it arrived Lynn and I made a full meal out of it. Very delicious. Great place. Sat in a nice outdoor area. We stayed on Tunnel road in the Super 8. The price was great. The room was spotless and recently updated. Asheville is a great town. My ole pal JD, WA4EE used to live there and I had lots of great memories hanging out with him in Asheville. Its a great base to do multiple day hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is what we did.

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