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22 July 2014, 9:00 PM ET, Commerce, GA

Foggy. Rainy. Cloudy. I visited the Smoky Mountains this morning. Those were the operative words.

I left my motel without a rain jacket. That lasted for a few minutes, maybe half an hour. I was in light rain on Interstate 81, and that was OK without the rain jacket, but when I turned south to the Smoky Mountains, I was on a regular road, where you stop sometimes. That doesn't work well with light rain. I needed my jacket.

When I arrived at the Smoky Mountains, I thought maybe it was getting a little better, so I took off my rain jacket. I stopped at the Visitor's Center. When I left there, I started getting wet again, so I stopped before leaving the parking lot to put the rain jacket back on.

Here's my first view as I started climbing in the National Park.

This is higher, looking a little better.

If you have read my other travelogues, you know I like trees.

Now I am higher, more clouds and more fog.

I have arrived at Clingman's Dome. This is the top, I had to walk up a steep paved trail for half a mile to get here. If I had known in advance it was half a mile, you would not have seen this picture, nor the following half a dozen.

Now I am in the observation tower you saw in the previous picture. This is the glorious view looking west. I think I can see San Francisco out there.

This is the view to the north. Is that Canada I see?

And to the east. I think I see water. Is that the Atlantic?

Finally, the view to the south. I am sure that is Florida I see.

In all seriousness, this is the promised view looking back to the west again. You may wonder why I am showing you all these pictures, but you must understand, this is a travelougue. I show you everything I see. You have to experience this with me.

The Appalachian Trail is right here at the top.

Part way down on the east side, the view starts to open up.

I am looking back up to Clingman's Dome. That's it, with the top hidden by the clouds in the center.

A babbling brook.

I am at the exit, on the eastern/southern side. I thought it would be appropriate to pose by the sign the way I experienced the Smoky Mountains on this fine day.

This is Iavor and Julie and Ian. I took this picture of them for them.

As I was leaving Cherokee, North Carolina, I spotted this museum, so I stopped and went through it.

This is a statue of Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.

That's it for today. I racked up lots of miles today, 210. Total is now 5,243. See you tomorrow, maybe in Florida. It looks like another two or three days to get home.

A few days after I get home, I will ride to Key West. I want to make sure I ride ALL of US1 and count ALL the traffic lights. I will have a new page called "Post Wrap" at the end of this travelogue for that. I have already put it on the menu to the left.

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