Sometimes it’s not the journey which is important but the destination.
And look above for the destination – Mt. Cammerer Lookout Tower. What a wonderful sight. This was the destination for about twenty hikers with Friends of the Smokies yesterday on the Classic Hikes program.
But first we had to climb over five miles on the Appalachian Trail, starting at Davenport Gap, the northern most point on the A.T. in the Smokies. Two crosstrails gave us some hint of the progress we were making – first Chestnut Branch, where most of us gathered around the sign.
The second trail intersection was only one mile further up, the Lower Cammerer Trail. Some hikers passed me; most stayed behind either out of politeness or because they were in their comfort zone.
By then, we were spread out but plodding up.
Then we reached the junction with the Mt. Cammerer Trail. Someone decided to design a large wooden arrow on the ground to make sure we didn’t miss it. Thanks, but there wasn’t much chance of that.
On the Mt. Cammerer Trail, we were full of anticipation.
Those who had never been here couldn’t wait to see the tower with so much history. Hikers who had been there before were so happy and relieved that the weather was sunny and dry. We walked around the wrap-around porch to admire the 360 degree views.
This tower is considered a “western style” tower with native timber and stone. You can compare this with Mt. Sterling which is built mostly with steel. It’s also historic because it was the first rehab project funded by Friends of the Smokies in 1995. In fact, it was the impetus for the formation of Friends.
In order to offer 100 miles of hiking in the National Park Centennial year, we’re offering a second hike in September, on Tuesday September 27. We’ll be doing the Deep Creek, Martins Gap, Indian Gap loop. So sign up on the website.