Day 16 – NOC NOC, who’s there?
Me for another zero. If I had my druthers, I’d of preferred to hike today and not wait for rain gear to be delivered butttt, life happens and we make the most of it. And boy did we make the most of it.
I slept in the chicken coop at Gorgeous Stays hostel until about 8:30. Hammer and I got a ride into the NOC for breakfast and was able to check out their outdoor store. Curiosity killed this cat and I tried on a pair of lone peak trail runners. I was impressed with the size of the toe box (so much more room for activities). Harkening back to yesterday during my hiking descent, I remembered how cramped my toes were (was also wearing 2 pairs of socks). Given my Nike wild horse trailrunners had been delaminating at the toe since I started 2 weeks ago. Also considering the heel portion had been rubbing to the point where I had to put gauze and duct tape to correct the problem, I bit the bullet and shelled out for new shoes. We’ll see if they improve things.
The rest of the day was all about whitewater rafting. Hammer and I signed up and departed on the bus up river. We sat up front in the lead boat which means we got more of water in faces than anyone else. I’m not sure we would have had it any other way. The water was a brisk 48 degrees according to our raft guide. Mainly class 1 and 2 rapids with one stretch of class 3 at the end. We were frozen by the time we finished but it was well worth it.
We spent the rest of the day at the hostel planning our approach into Fontana Dam. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park starts 3 miles after Fontana Dam and they allow thru-hikers 8 days to complete the roughly 70 mile stretch in the Smokey’s.
I’m hoping my new rain gear arrives early at the NOC so I can get a head start on the trail. I’d like to cover the 28 miles into Fontana dam over 2 days but we’ll see how things go.
Stow away in my pack for Day 17 on the Appalachian Trail.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.
What Do You Think?