Fontana Dam

North Carolina

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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 (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 tops.
  • 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 Karl:

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)

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