Day 16: Fontana Village to Mollies Ridge
Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
134Trip End Jul 23, 2010
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Did you know that in addition to the Appalachian Trail which runs Georgia to Maine, there is a trail called the Eastern Continental Trail which runs from Newfoundland to Key West!? A guy at the shelter tonight is hiking the whole thing, Spaz is his name and he has been hiking through the winter, surviving on dehydrated meals cooked up by his mom. Only about 12 people have completed this trail, which is the worlds longest.
Today we lazed around the resort then headed to the general store to resupply... Decent selection but astronomical prices. Luckily before buying anything I asked if they had a hiker box. Lady pointed to the back corner and boy we had a field day! There was oatmeal, snickers, mac and cheese, frosted breakfast buns, Oreos, and a full mtn meal (in store cost: ten bucks!)
We made out like banshees and devoured our food on the porch
After resupply we clean up the room and then check out. Feels rough to put on the boots and a heavier pack, but I thought it would be worse after yesterdays hike. The shuttle back to the trail was quick and we were soon walking by the Fontana Hilton, one of the nicer shelters on the whole trail (sleeps 24 and has a restroom next door with a shower!)
Then we walked across the Fontana Dam, at 450 ft the highest east of the Rockies. From this point in I've already hiked the trail in 2007 with my college friends Colin and Amanda (you can check for that blog also on Travelpod) On that trip we went the other way, thus avoiding the nasty climb up Shuckstack Mtn. It was pretty tough but we handled it ok. Couple of cute old women were at the base of the trail to say that they hiked a little bit of the AT. They had lots of questions for us, felt like a celebrity when they wanted to pose for pictures with the thru-hikers!
Since we started hiking at 11:30, the last few miles up were tough, but arriving here at Mollies Ridge shelter was a great feeling. There is some snow around and you can see it ahead on Clingmans Dome, but it should be ok to hike through. After listening to all the rumors, it's nice to finally just be up here and hike.
Hope everyone is doing well. Hopefully those bears will leave us alone tonight... We are tented a little close to the bear lines. (when the shelter is full thruhikers have to tent)