(Before I forget again...I meant to say that Nathan and I loved visiting Biltmore when we used to live in Durham. It was a lovely way to spend a weekend away from school...)
After Biltmore, we headed to the Great Smoky Mountains. Because they're there and were somewhat on our way. ;) We made the short (but steep) hike to Clingmans Dome...a somewhat ugly dealio marking the highest point in Tennessee and the third highest point east of the Mississippi.
Being the Coloradoans that we are, we laughed in the face of such a measly elevation (6643 ft), lol, but enjoyed it all the same. Micah made me take a picture of this cloud that looks, to him, like a moose head. Then we took some pictures of us. ;)
Along the path, we were treated to a rather up close visit from a mama black bear and three of her adorable cubs. They were hanging out right there...the mama grazing and the cubs climbing a tree. (Truly, it was a little crazy...they shouldn't have been so close (15-20 feet) and it really seemed like the mama wasn't big enough to be a mama.)
And, on our way out of the park, we saw one more bear and some wild turkeys...all just to the side of the road. All in all, a pretty good...though short...national park visit. And that was Day 12.