We made it to Fontana! We have hiked 174.6 miles so far on our journey north, and we’re feeling good. It’s amazing how well our timing has worked out with the weather, since the day we planned to have our 2nd zero is forecast for scattered thunderstorms.
We’re staying at the the Fontana Lodge with Aelin and Tolin, now Tinder and Birch, and we ran into Hustle and Flow again. Our tramily (trail family) seems to continuously separate and reconnect. The rough riders can’t be broken. Since I last posted, we caught up to a few folks from our first night at Amicalola, and it was really cool to catch up with them and swap stories.
It’s amazing how many hikers are out here. I’ve been trying to write down the names of everyone I meet at the end of each day (thanks for the idea Drew), and it is hard to keep track of such a large quantity of people. More and more I am seeing the value of the shelter logs, because they help you keep up with everyone regardless of your hiking pace. Hustle dubbed it “ghetto Facebook”, and I think the name is apt.
I think I just about have the food situation dialed in for now, getting better at estimating how much I need. After our zero today we head out into the smokies, and it’s important to have the food figured out because logistics in that park are a lot tighter and more complicated. While passing through this next section, hikers are required to stay at shelters, so your mileage options are limited.
All in all, I am consistently grateful that I have the opportunity to be out here and to experience this place. I didn’t realize the quantity of mountains in this part of the country, but it is breathtaking. I am also in awe of the quantity of amazing people we have met. The community of hikers is extremely open and welcoming, and it is starting to feel a lot like the community at REI. I guess like minded people are easy to get along with, no matter which part of the country (or world) they are from.
That’s all for now, see ya farther north.
Trail magic tally:
5 hot dogs
3 cold sodas
Prosciutto and cheese rolls
Tasty cakes snowball
Bag of ruffles chips
( we hit the motherlode)