Leaf peepers. European tourists. Motorheads from a nearby car show. On a Friday in September, maybe 100 visitors milled around Clingmans Dome, a popular lookout atop a high ridge in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Some made the push to the ovoid, Jetsons-esque observation deck. The rest, exhausted by the half-mile approach from the parking lot, wiped their brows while standing on the flagstone patio below.
“Think it’s OK if I fly this thing?” I asked a woman sitting nearby.