Monday, June 1, 2015
I'm writing this and the next day from memory. It was foggy, heavy, all morning. That was disappointing as I hit a lot of overlooks and Clingman's Dome. I didn't bother doing the climb to the lookout. It wasn't on the AT and I had seen the fogged in view before.
Today's terrain was easier than I expected, at least till Clingman's Dome. Then it became rocky, and stayed that way for most of the Smokies.
It cleared up for the visit to Newfound Gap. It was a busy tourist attraction with views and a restroom. But like Fontana Shelter, they had not turned on the fountains. The Math Teachers were looking for water. But they didn't even have sinks in the restrooms, just sanitizer dispensers.
The climb from Newfound Gap to Icewater Shelter was busy with day hikers. When I got to the shelter it was full and three tents were up on the only flat spaces. It was thundering again so I quickly put up the tarp. The moment I put my sleeping bag in it started to rain. I threw everything else under the tarp and got under myself. The crowd at the shelter looked like they were using all the free cooking space, so I skipped dinner and hit the sack.
It stormed overnight. I was on a slope so my bivy and bag slid down every time I turned over. From inside you cannot correct that. I lifted the bivy's bathtub floor to stop the rain spray at the head of my bag. But I got spray on the foot of the bivy. It got my bag slightly damp at its foot. But not enough to bother me.