Day 17: Zero Day 3 – Fontana Dam

Day #17

Cable Gap Shelter –> Fontana Dam Lodge

5.5 miles

164.7 Total AT miles

What up! I’m sitting on the floor of the Fontana Lodge bringing the blog up-to-date. The nearly full moon just set over the surrounding mountains that the lodge is cut into. Breakfast beckons once these words are typed.

Today we push into and through the Smokey Mountains. This section is our biggest challenge to date. My pack is enormous with over 20lbs of food. I need enough for 6-8 days to see me through the 109 mile section to Hot Springs, North Carolina.

I’m way heavier on food than everybody else and am carrying nearly twice as much as some. My plan is slow and steady to Clingmans Dome eating as much food as my stomach will hold. After a sunrise on the highest point in the AT, over half my food should be eaten.  I’ll pick up the pace as my bag lightens and hustle off the high Ridgeline to Hot Springs, NC.

On the outside deck, the contents of everyones pack erupted onto the wooden planks as we prepared our food and supplies. Mr. Kool-Aid lost over 10lbs from his pack. Canuck lost a bunch as well with a few pounds subtracted from a switch to his hammock. I sent my e-reader home 😦 Not only am I not carrying a paper journal, but now I lost my book as well. Sacrifices! Their just isn’t time for reading with everything else going on. Oh, Mom, expect another package with an e-reader!

Yesterday’s rain stopped in the night and we woke to a foggy, cool morning. A fast 5.5 miles put us on the shuttle to the Fontana Lodge where we picked up our packages, some wine and beer, and then hit the showers. I showered twice soaking for nearly an hour in total. I’ll take another before leaving.

See ya’ll on the flip side of the Smokies!

The Cable gap shelter in the morning after a rain. So much water.
The shelter as everyone packs up for the push into town.
Hiking on through the fog in a kilt, the AT is the only acceptable place ,outside of Scotland, to wear a kilt.
Hiking through he fog.
Almost creepy if it wasn’t so beautiful.
Canuck walking down a stretch of trail. Grass often lines the road.
Just a cool rock along the trail.
Fontana Dam. It is huge! Not what I expected.
A flower almost ready to bloom.
Instructions along the trail.
The AT crosses through this parking lot full of blooming redbud trees.
The shuttle to the lodge. There is a phone line that connects directly with the shuttle!
The walk up to the lodge was tiring!
Our trail family is back together!
Canuck got his hammock! He’s so happy to have his baby back! Sorry for such a terrible photo…
Shakedown time!
Canuck cut his toothbrush in half to save as much weight as possible.
Mr. Kool-Aid’s lunch. Sardines with cheese crackers wrapped in a tortilla.
Look at all that food!
Shaking down some packs! Mr. Kool-Aid lost more than 10lbs of gear.




One thought on “Day 17: Zero Day 3 – Fontana Dam

  1. Hi!! My family and I met you at the Clings-man’s Dome a few days ago. I searched for your blog and have enjoyed reading it and looking at the photographs!! I am also interested in hiking the Appalachian Trail someday even though few people finish and even fewer are women!
    I hope you keep posting and make it to the end!! Happy Trails! 🙂
    Erin W.

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