18.3 miles, 50,740 steps, 430 stories climbed
174.7 miles, 502,196 steps, 4629 stories climbed
Today was a beautiful day. Nice and sunny all day, got myself a little tan, maybe even a sunburn in some places. Most of the mud dried up so I was able to move a bit quicker.
I wasn’t quite sure what my plan was today, I was tempted to do a little over 11 miles and then have a short day to Fontana Dam or go all the way to Fontana and take a day off. When I got to the last shelter before Fontana it was pretty small and there was no good spot to set up a tent so I decided to hike the rest of the way to Fontana.
It was pretty cool seeing the reservoir and the dam from the distance and slowly getting closer and closer. It was a also a great day to catch some beautiful views. Views that made all the rain and blisters worth it.
The shelter where I’m staying is one of the “luxurious” and roomy on the trail which gives it its nickname: “The Hilton.” It fits about 20 people, though most of us have set up tents instead because of the magnificent views. The reason it’s called the Hilton is that there is running water, a warm shower, actual toilets and a beautiful view of the reservoir. I guess they wanted to spoil the hikers right before they enter the Smokey Mountains.
It felt nice to get a shower, I sweat so much today that my shirt was just covered in salt. Then I had to hand wash my clothes, haven’t done that since the Camino.
It’s actually pretty nice. No wasted water or energy. Just wash what you need.
Tomorrow, I’ll have my first day off in two weeks. I’ll take a shuttle to town get some supplies (aka junk food and jerky) and get back to camp and relax. My timing isn’t the best though, most stores in town don’t open up until March 18th
, you know the day I plan to leave this town. Figures. Oh well, I’m anxious to get into the Smokies-the highest point on the AT.
Good night everyone! Hope everyone is well! Please update me as to what you’re up to. I really love connecting and my service is sooo slow I can’t read FaceBook or emails. Maria keeps me updated, but I’d love to hear from all of you.