The AT climbs to 6,643 feet at its highest point, which is marked by a lookout with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. Ironically, the views along the exposed ridge line leading up to the peak were even more breathtaking than those at the summit. This probably has something to do with the flood of visitors who drove to the top. We walked 200 miles to appreciate a view that was plagued by children, and adults alike, complaining about their half mile walk from the parking lot. Can you believe it was uphill? How dare they design the park like that? 
	After 15 minutes on top of this landmark, I was ready to leave. We delayed our exit and spent more time at the base of the tower relaxing with our shoes off. It made for a more authentic experience for the other visitors. I still wonder if they could smell us as they approached. A snack turned into lunch, and lunch turned into a 2-hour rest. We soaked up the warmth of the sun without exposing any blinding, bare skin to those treacherous southern rays.
	As late afternoon rolled around we began to collect our things. A park ranger struck up a conversation with the group, inquiring about our thru-hike. She asked the typical questions: trail names, hometowns, etc. Unexpectedly, she ended the conversation with a warning about inclement weather. It was difficult to heed her warning with such impressive sunshine and 70-degree temperatures.
	On that note, it was time to finish the day's hike. My friend Andy said it best, "I feel like if we stay up here any longer, we might become civilized."
                        

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