National Geographic : 1962 Feb
in Tennessee view the sunrise from a 6,593-foot grandstand on Mount Le Conte into rocks of strange shapes. Then came the millenniums of erosion to carve the face of the Smokies into gorges, side valleys, and wrinkled slopes. Ice Age glaciers never reached the Smokies, yet came near enough to grant them a legacy of northern plants and flowers. The Smokies today have a rich variety of trees, ferns, moss es, and flowering herbage (page 172). All this we saw on our way to Fontana Dam, the highest dam in the eastern United States, whose 480 feet of concrete impound a 10,530-acre lake and produce electric power for cities far beyond North Carolina's borders. The next morning we stood in Joyce Kil- mer Memorial Forest, within a Tar Heel's wave of the Tennessee border-and our trip was done. We had seen North Carolina from the sands of Hatteras to the lofty Smokies. We had talked, danced, eaten, and played with Tar Heels from Kitty Hawk to Cherokee and loved every minute of it. Now it was time to go home and tell the story. As we stood there, the cloud-or maybe it was mist-that blanketed our mountaintop drifted away, and the sun came out full and strong on the great trees, on the rocks, on the valley far below. North Carolina was bright with sun and promise.