I'll be honest, this 2nd week has been tough. It's been much colder than the first week, and much wetter. Yesterday we walked in the 30ish degree weather - wet. It not only rained, it poured. We pulled into our shelter around dinner time, dripping wet & soaked to the bone. Let me just say, I'm ready for some spring weather! Sunny & 70+ looks better every stinkin' day!
Since our last post, Mike & Kayla came & visited us at the NOC (: Bless their souls. We needed a visit from friends & they were so sweet to take their time to come see us! They picked us up & took us to the Microtel Inn in the booming city of Bryson City, NC. We cleaned up & went out for pizza [Mike's preference] at Pizza Hut & spent the evening watching TV & catching up. You know, typical trail things! (: We woke up, went to Bojangles for breakfast [which beats trail food any day], shopped the local Ingles & headed to the NOC to hang out until time to part. Oh yea--I got new shoes at the NOC too!! NO MORE BLISTERS! My sweet doctor uncle Andy cut the dead skin off today right before dinner! I have clean, free feet!
After Mike & Kayla visited on Tuesday, Papa visited on Thursday. Go ahead & say it. We're spoiled. We enjoyed dinner with him in Fontana...pork sandwiches with fries & slaw! YUM. He also hiked with us some on Friday [7 miles actually] up to the nearest look-out tower. You go Old Man (: [I say that very lovingly] Just a shout-out: We missed you Mimi! & hope to see you soon!
Papa actually hiked us across into the Smokies....which are awful!!!! They haven't gotten Mike's gold star or my vote for "favorite section of the trail." The trail is muddy...ankle deep mud. And it isn't a nice trail like the rest has been [in NC & GA], it's a dang ditch! It's been tricky not to slip into an injury. AND, this mess has slowed us down! There's definitely no denying the beauty of this section though. This morning, the rain subsided for a bit and tiny rays of sunlight (visible on the ever present misty/fog) stabbed thousands of tiny holes through the shadowy evergreen forest, revealing so much unseen beauty. Moss and ferns (still dripping wet from the gully-washing rains) grew right from the trunks of Firs, Cedars and Pines. It's the little things, ya know? We're outta the Smokies in two days, so hopefully we'll be back to our beloved trail.
Thanks again to all of you folks at home for your support--whether in the form of trail visits, encouraging calls/notes and mostly your prayers. You keep us moving on!
Enjoy the camera dump:
New shoes for Mc (:
= no more blisters!! & one happy camper!
The view at Fontana
The rickety stair case on the look-out tower 3.5 miles past Fontana Dam [the highest dam on the east coast]
Fontana Lake from the look-out tower
Mikey & me walkin' through the green tunnel
in a HUGE tree trunk!
Shout-out: Just Tomatoes!! thanks for the veggies friends!
our attempt to dry our clothes..FAIL
on the highest point on the AT...too bad you can't see anything but us!
the view from Newfound Gap after the mist cleared away!