This was my first mountain summit. After making the long drive from Indiana and hiking some earlier that day inside the park, we arrived at the parking lot at Clingman’s Dome. Already tired from making the trek to Charlie’s Bunion, we made our tired ascent along the man made asphalt trail. Passing thousands of dead pine trees, we finally made it to the concrete spiral staircase that lead to the platform marking the summit. After walking up to the summit, the weather changed dramatically and became very cold. Not realizing at the time but, mountain conditions can change at any moment. Although not a challenging climb, it planted a seed inside my body which grew into what I am today….nuts. Mountain climbing and hiking are an integral part of my life now.