Day 6 once again dawned bright and early (we determined nature wakes up around 5:30am). We were still loving the Cumberland Gap park in the morning. We ate some oatmeal, drank some coffee, made some bathroom trips. I chatted with a lady who is raising her granddaughter about traveling with kids and encouraging them to get outdoors and look around.
Mountain roads are mountain roads. More tunnels (though short ones here)
The hike to Clingman's Dome is only half a mile, but it comes with a big elevation gain along the way. Unfortunately, it's also paved, which royally ticked off Sedona. She complained bitterly, "this isn't REAL hiking!!"
The trail to Clingman's Dome crosses the Appalachian Trail, so stopped to hike just a little bit on it.
Drops of rain soon turned into a torrential downpour. I still managed to build a truly awesome fire. Nothing will boost your camping confidence more than building an awesome fire in pouring rain. The kids started calling me Sparky.
We made a quick decision to do something we hadn't done in a very long time, bail on a camp out. We've made it through rain, thunderstorms, below freezing, boiling hot.....shoot, even when the tent was overrun with ants and Sedona had an allergic reaction to bites on her face, we didn't go home or to a hotel, we "camped" in the car outside the ER. But sleeping in an inch of water with 3 kids at the end of a week of camping just didn't seem worth it. We put the kids in the car and Josh and I broke camp in record time. We thought we'd have to drive a long way to find a hotel, but there were several right outside the park and it was very nice to put on dry clothes and crawl into a dry bed.
So that was the abrupt end to the camping portion of this trip. We enjoyed our night of indoor sleep and had plans the next day to check out a few more things before heading to grammy and grandpa's house.