Into the Smoky Mountains
We woke up feeling so refreshed and ready for a nice relaxing zero day. We hit up the general store to resupply and do laundry. We got a chance to see more Mini Coopers than we had ever seen before. I really never thought that Mini Coopers were that popular, but apparently, they’re good cars to drive down the “tail of the dragon” with.
We spent so much money resupplying at the general, and our clothes still wreaked after going through the wash. Loaded up with beer and full food bags, we headed to the Fontana Hilton.
The shelter was so great. There was showers, a solar charging bank, trash cans, and even a water spigot. It was aptly named the Fontana Hilton for sure.
We all ventured down to the Fontana Lake where we hung around drinking beer, swimming, and even trying to do a little hiker trash treasure hunting. Unfortunately, there was no sunken treasure, so we all headed back up to camp for some dinner.
It was here that we met Butterscotch who is the best cook on the trail. He whipped up some delicious hotdog burritos, and made everyone contemplate bringing a nonstick pan on the trail. We ate tons of food and fell into food comas.
We decided that we hadn’t had enough of Fontana Village yet, so we headed back into town to grab some lunch. At the Pit Stop, they cooked us up so delicious hot dogs which got devoured faster than they were made. We had a couple last minute errands to run including buying some eggs and hotdogs so Butterscotch could cook up some breakfast burritos later that night.
Itchy was brave enough to pack out a dozen eggs, and we all started taking bets on how many would actually make the trek up into the Smokys. Anyways, after a while of just being lazy, we headed up to the Fontana Dam and into the woods again.
The climb into the Smokys was massive. Not to mention, every time someone heard a rustle in the leaves, they immediately thought it was a bear. Finally, we made it to the Shuckstack fire tower. The views were great, and it definitely made the climb worth it. Shortly after, we reached the Birch spring campsite which was known for its bear activity.
The time had finally come for trail breakfast burritos. Itchy pulled out his food bag, and to everyone’s surprise, all 12 eggs had made the journey in. No casualties. Butterscotch made us some delicious breakfast burritos, and we all headed off to bed hoping that no bears would come through.
Luckily, we didn’t have any bear activity that night (that we know of). However, it the weather was no joke. It started raining as we were packing up, so luckily we all got our tents put away before they were soaked. We headed out and planned for a long day.
We ate lunch at Mollies Ridge Shelter. The wind and rain was almost unbearable. We pulled out sleeping bags just to get warm. Finally, we decided to press on. We had planned to get to Spence Field Shelter, but when we hit Russell Field, the fire was just too hard to pass up. We were soaked, freezing, and just downright miserable. The extra 3 miles would have to wait for the next day.
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