Zeroed again to avoid some snow in the Smokies. Lots of good food ans stories to fill the time!
4/16/2014 12.1 Miles
Woke up and got packed up and left by 8 am. Scott took us back to Fontana Dam and we started off again. Lizzy had messed up her leg somehow pretty bad so she suffered through it until it went away. Got our permits taken care of and worked our way UP into the Smokies. We stopped and ate at Shuck stack Fire Tower and caught up with the two Englishmen we'd met before Franklin. Got to Mollies Ridge Shelter and saw a bunch of familiar faces and a bunch of tents! Grabbed us a FLAT spot. Had some fun conversation around the fire.
4/17/2014 12 Miles
Got up and out of the tent and we were the last ones at the campsite, the 20+ tents were all gone at 9 am. We like to sleep late..cause we can! We got to the intersection for the Spence Field Shelter grabbed some shade under a tree and sat down for a relaxing break/lunch. Then out of nowhere 3 Horses showed up coming southbound on the AT. As they got closer we realized it was two Rangers and a cowboy guy. Apparently little to our knowledge there was a crazy guy down at the shelter who had punched a 14 year old girl in the face the night before and they were "responding". So needless to say we packed up and headed north. As we went further the terrain changed a bit and it was more balds and rocks. Stopped at Derrick Knob Shelter for the night to another big tent city.
Got up last again and headed up. Got to Silers Bald and shelter and stopped for lunch. There were pines and furs starting to take over the treeline. As we left the shelter in was full on Frasier and Furs. It looked like we were hiking through Christmas trees, and it smelt so good! It was crisp mountain air with a heavy pine scent it was incredible. Got up to Clingman's Dome and the first face we saw was a friendly Ranger who offered us some Clif Bars and Oreos. We then were overcome by the number of people around us in normal clothing and who had no idea why we had backpacks on or smelled off.. Anyways it was a cool view and we walked down the path to the parking lot and hung out for Scott to come pick us up. We are now resupplying for the second half of the Smokies and will head out tomorrow.