Experience A Day

The human body is incredible: the endurance, the resilience, the power to keep on going despite having been through so much already. We are a marvelous design. We crossed the Fontana Dam today in a drizzling rain and then climbed nearly 3000 feet and walked about 12 miles. The fog was "as thick as split pea soup" and there were several recently downed trees that forced us to climb the muddy slope to go around them. Amongst the constant drip drip from the trees, the occasional gust of chill wind, and the sopping wet shoes I could still look at my surroundings and see amazing sights that made me thank God for another beautiful day on the Appalachian Trail.

At the shelter, hunger kicked in and I proceeded to eat a second lunch and then a good portion of my snack bag as well. This is a good thing because I have plenty of food and everything I eat is that much less to carry the next day. I then ate dinner just a couple of hours later. That's hiker hunger for you.

This shelter has an actual stone fireplace so Good Wood and Four started working on a fire to try and get some of our damp clothing dried out a bit and we eventually managed to get a nice little blaze going. Rules in the Smokies mean we have to stick with sticks smaller than our wrist but we didn't need a bonfire. We did create a lot of smoke in the shelter at first but it cleared up once we had enough fire for the chimney to work.

The next day was more fog but fortunately no rain. I forged on ahead and soon ran into the mostly British crew again: Professor, Tangle, Target, Crouton, Point Break, Trash Panda, and the other Professor (he's Australian). I hiked with them for a little while but split after a tuna tortilla and peanut butter tortilla lunch at a "viewpoint" that really wasn't. It was good enough for a lunch break though. At one point I found a huge log and sat on it with my feet up to eat a snickers bar. There are some hikers I know who live on snickers and gummy worms.

12 miles later we reached Derrick Knob shelter and got our tents set up, 2nd lunch eaten, chatted for a while, then ate dinner and played some card games like Yannif (no clue if I'm spelling that correctly) and another game which apparently has a lot of names and is kind of like a mix of Eucher and Spades except it can be played with as many as 8 people. Little Blade, Marvel, Flapjack, Shaggy, and another Professor (this one is Professor Plum so we just called him Plum) contributed the cards and played with us.

Finally it was time for bed again with another interesting day ahead of us tomorrow. To be fair, every day out here is interesting.

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