National Geographic : 1936 Aug
RAMBLING AROUND THE ROOF OF EASTERN AMERICA Photograph by Carlos C. Campbell C.C.C. TRAIL BUILDERS USE ROCK STRATA TO ADVANTAGE Construction of the well-planned system of trails, that cross and recross streams, skirt scenic spots, and lead to lookouts, often required blasting through solid rock. In addition to the new four-foot trails like this one, there are hundreds of miles of primitive, ungraded paths, known only to mountaineers. Many other verses describe the associa tions of Lord Thomas with "fair Elender" and "the brown girl." "GRANDSTAND OF THE SMOKIES" Early one morning in late June several years ago a companion and I left Gatlin burg with a capable guide to scale Mount Le Conte. "Grandstand of the Smokies" it is often called, for more people have scanned the surrounding mountains from its summit than from any other peak in the range. For a mile or more the trail was easy. Then, suddenly, it seemed that it leaped straight skyward. At times we found our selves reaching for a finger hold in a higher rock as one reaches for the upper rung of a ladder. No mountaineer would permit his horse to attempt that route. A slip would mean injury or death. Only the glory of the Rainbow Falls, its waters leaping over an 84-foot cliff out of an arbor of purple rho dodendron, beds of flame azaleas, phlox, and galax, inspired us to carry on to the summit. When at last we reached the top, the view amply rewarded us. In the distance rose the rounded, tree-covered crown of Clingmans Dome, which is just 40 feet lower than Mount Mitchell in the Black Mountains of North Carolina, the highest mountain in eastern America. Fleecy clouds hovered about the upper slopes of Mount Guyot, the Smokies' second highest peak; Mount Kephart, and Mount Chapman, named in honor of Col. David C. Chapman of Knoxville, Tennessee, recog nized father of the Great Smoky Moun tains National Park. The blue-gray haze of the Smokies, which gives them their name, swathed the summits of more than a score of peaks that rise over a mile above sea level (pages 246 and 247).