“Good ole Rocky Top”
Thunderhead Mountain is a mountain in the west-central part of the Great Smoky Mountains, located in the Southeastern United States. Rising along the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, the mountain dominates the Western Smokies. The Appalachian Trail crosses its summit, making it a popular hiking destination. Rocky Top, a knob on the western part of the mountain's summit ridge, shares its name with a popular Tennessee state song. Thunderhead rises approximately 3,500 feet (1,100 m) above its northern base at Little River and approximately 3,000 feet (910 m) above its southern base at Bone Valley. The mountain consists of three peaks, the lowest being Rocky Top at 5,440 feet (1,660 m) above sea level and the easternmost being the highest at 5,527 feet (1,685 m) above sea level. Thunderhead is the highest point in Blount County, Tennessee and the highest point on the Appalachian Trail coming from the south until the trail ascends Silers Bald (5,607 ft) some 10 miles (16 km) to the east. The mountain's name originated in the 19th century. It probably referred to the unpredictable weather that often strikes the higher elevations in the Smokies. According to Laura Thornborough, a writer who hiked to the summit of Thunderhead along with local guide Sam Cook in the 1930s: "As we proceeded in a near-gale to Rocky Top, the first of the three major peaks of Thunderhead, Sam remarked, "It'll be thunderin' and lightnin' on Thunderhead when it's clear on every other peak on top o' Smoky, and that's how hit got its name."
I once lived on Rocky Top. It was and still is one of the most spiritual places in the world.
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