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Monday, March 23
Arrived today in Fontana Dam and picked up letters and three (!) packages
from family and friends. Spending the night in a nice, inexpensive motel
that caters to trail hikers.
Picking up boxes of food and...er...supplies (3/23)
- Joel said goodbye on Saturday to return to college; he had joined the
group only temporarily during a break.
- Andy has taken a couple of days off with his aunt and uncle to decide
whether to continue the hike tomorrow with Chris and Karl.
- Other hikers have reported that aside from the Vermont and New Hampshire
sections of the trail, this southernmost 160 miles or so that they've covered
so far has the most climbing and the most challenging terrain. That's encouraging,
especially after a recent 6-mile climb in several inches of snow.
- Days are getting warmer, and the snow is now limited to the mountain
- The hikers' trail names are:
- Chris: "Tucker"
- Karl: "Piper"
- Andy: "Dundee"
- They've been staying some nights tenting in the open and some in trailside
shelters. The shelters offer company, including card games, talk, and an
inevitable chorus of loud snoring. The open sky offers peace, quiet, and
damp gear to pack and carry the next day.
Here are some pictures from a few days ago, sent by
Shelter from the rain 1 (3/18)
Shelter from the rain 2--with a fresh tomato (3/18)
Free rooming for Clifford and Karl in the Nantahala
changing room (3/20)
April (from Grand Rapids) and Chris (3/22)
Here are two more recent pictures, contributed
by friend April from Grand Rapids. She and another friend Ryan joined Karl
and Chris for a few days.
Chris, Ryan, and Karl (about 3/23)
Ryan and Karl crossing Fontana Dam (about 3/23)