Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 3

The zero day was sooo good to my body. I felt great (for the most part) all day, and the climb out of Fontana Dam wasn't nearly as difficult as I had expected. Phil, AJ, Pappy, Shepherd, Muffin Man, and I checked out of the Hilton (haha) and made our way along the trail/road to Fontana Dam...very cool. We took lots of photos there and again at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and then we were on our way. We saw three deer near the trail about 2 miles in. I've seen lots of squirrels but no deer until today. Still waiting on a bear too!
We took a side trail up the fire tower on Shuckstack Mountain and were treated to some incredible views. We continued along the relatively flat (until the end anyway) trail to Mollies Ridge Shelter. Thru-hikers are supposed to stay in the shelters in the park as opposed to camping but are allowed to tent nearby if the shelters are full. Only six spots are reserved here so I'm inside...and thankful to be because it is windy, windy, windy outside! There are tarps covering the shelter opening so that helps with the wind but it is a bit noisy. As you can guess, the shelter is on a ridge, so we have views on either side of the mountain and a view of city (Gatlinburg?) lights on one side. It's a pretty place and the Smokies have been great so far. Today was warm/borderline hot, and sunny, although we're supposed to get rain tomorrow I think.
It's a full house tonight and Shepherd, Muffin Man, AJ, Phil, and I have been playing Greed, a dice game, on the top bunk. Great times and great memories. Hoping to stay dry for the next few days! And tomorrow we'll pass over Rocky Top Tennessee!!
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