Friday, April 29, 2016; AT Mile 166.3
Walked from 160.4 to 168.1 or 7.1 miles.
Started 06:43 AM, stopped 11:15 AM.
Ave mph was 1.57, excluding lunch.
Battery used: 3 percent
I walked from Cable Gap Shelter to the Fontana Dam Visitor Center, but forgot to tell Hikers Assistant I was done with the trail. So the elevation profile won't be perfect. I barely took off my pack and David offered me a ride. Nice guy! He's here for a week hike. So I didn't have to call and pay for a shuttle to Fontana Lodge.
The hike down had a few ups. Didn't see as many flowers as yesterday. And there weren't any vistas. I saw the dam from way up, but too many trees in the photo.
The lake was way down from last year. The exposed dirt banks kind of hurt the photos. The Fontana Hilton (shelter) looked about the same except they added a solar power charging station. It claimed 15 minutes for a full phone charge. And there were several USB charging cables. Nice! Matches the showers offered at the 'Hilton'.
My plan was to do a Nero in today. Then take a Zero tomorrow and hike out and up into the Smokies Sunday morning. The lodge isn't near the trail so most get a $3 shuttle back to the trail; the earliest is 8:30 am. But the shuttle lets you off at the marina or the dam Visitor Center. The marina means you have to hike 2 miles to the Visitor Center. Since you have to camp in the Smokies at shelters or the one camp site, you have a 7.5 or 13 mile hike uphill from the other side of the dam.
Short point, I wanted the least walking Sunday this side of the Smokies as possible. So I went past the marina shuttle spot today.
The room this year is a lot nicer. Spacious and a large balcony. Though it was pretty nice last year. But their Internet is out and there is no AT&T. The lodge is way up a hill, so I don't want to walk down then back up for the laundry.
My mail drop was here. I showered, set the tent on the balcony to dry out, and went to the Wildwood Cafe for lunch. Most of the thrus showed up while I was eating. Sounds like all but one (whose mail drop didn't make it) are staying at the Fontana Hilton. Not sure why others are not taking zeros. They are young!
After lunch I came back and did my laundry in the sink. Then decided to do the blog. Hopefully the Internet will come up so I can post and add photos. But I've still got tomorrow. Have a good day!
I got sloppy and put a bunch of today's photos on yesterday's blog. With slow WiFi here, I'm going to leave it that way.