Today's long mileage and the steep ups and downs beat me up. I dragged myself to the Mt. Collins shelter and collapsed. The first 6.5 miles to the Derrick Knob shelter didn't look that hard in the guidebook, but were tough. Even the younger hikers labored uphill. As I gained elevation, spruce and fir trees dominated the forest as the photo shows. I reached the Double Spring Gap shelter and I probably should have stayed there, but I can continued to Clingman's Dome, the highest point on the AT. The final 4 miles of the day started with a steep descent followed by a steep climb. The turnoff to the Mt. Collins shelter took forever, but eventually arrived. When I got to the shelter I found about 25 people chatting and cooking dinner. First dinner then setting up camp. I crawled into my tent at 8:30 and wrote in my journal then slept. Today's miles - 19.6. Total miles - 202.8.