Day 12, 4/17: Mile 164, Fontana Dam (11mi)

The answer to yesterday’s trivia question…the odd Blair Witch looking objects hanging from the rafters at the shelters are to hang your food from to protect from mice. The cans and bottles are strung above (hard to see in this pic…look at yesterday’s) to keep the mice from climbing right down the rope onto your food bag.

This is Chicken Feathers, he’s 72 and has been cranking out the miles. I saw him 5 days ago and he’s right on my tail and I’ve been pulling some bigger miles the lay several days.

One of the older shelters made out of logs…a great place for a rest break next to a quiet stream.

Our first view of Fontana Lake, the gateway to the Smokies.

After busting out 11 miles by 12:30 and descending 3000′ to Fontana Dam, it was amazing to find trail magic in the form of delicious watermelon 🙂

The lobby of the beautiful Fontana Lodge. They offer a great thru-hiker rate (kind of a shoulder season now) so I treated myself and shared a room with Salty Legs (picture to come).

Quite the contrast to last night’s shelter, but I enjoyed them both in their own way.

The hotel pool with the Smokies in the background.

Before

After!
I spent most of the afternoon eating, doing laundry, taking a shower and organizing food for the next 6 days (which Andrea was nice enough to ship ahead to me…thx Andrea!)

Andrea even included this cute Bug Juice card she made in my package. I plan to get it laminated and hang it from my pack 🙂

This is a hiker box (things hikers leave behind for other to use as in food or gear). I always laugh at seeing all the bags of unidentifiable white powders…does anyone actually take that stuff? I grabbed a snickers bar (wrapped) and some seam grip.

We were told there be a cookie and punch social for hikers at 7pm. They didn’t tell us that there was a group of senior citizen hikers here for the week and we were their entertainment for the evening (Q&A style). It was fun and they were really interested in our experiences. This is a picture of thru hiker Diesel (62yrs old) talking to the group while holding about 10 giant cookies…he swore he was taking them back to share with the other hikers sleeping at the shelter. I’m dubious!

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