Week three has been a good week! I left Fontana Dam with some of my trail family* and we crossed Fontana Dam and entered the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We spent five days hiking through the park and then two more days to get to Hot Springs, NC.
The Smokies were beautiful and we spent a lot of time around the 5000- 6000 foot elevations. The first three days, the weather was sunny and breezy; the last two days, the weather was rainy, windy, and foggy. We were fortunate to see perfect views from Clingman’s Dome, the highest point on the trail, at 6644 feet. Sadly, we did not get to see Charlie’s Bunion as it was socked in that day. Also during our time in the park, we passed the 200 mile mark.
After the Smokies, in the the two days we hiked to get to Hot Springs, we went over Max Patch. Max Patch is what is known as a bald, a rounded hill it mountain with no trees and a lot of grass. The weather was perfect and we had great views back to the Smokies and ahead for the next day’s hike.
Looking forward to another week and crossing the 300 mile mark!
*trail family: a group of hikers that are hiking roughly the same pace day to day. While they don’t always hike all day together, they end up at the same shelter each night, look out for and help each other and sometime share town experiences.