Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Franklin, NC to Gatlinburg, TN

206 miles in!
FYI, pictures will be coming soon.
Another hundred miles... Wow! I'm midway through the Smokies and let me tell you, they are not a joke. Actually, the whole state of North Carolina has not been a joke, so future thru hikers be warned.
Anyway, Beau drove down this morning to meet me on the trail to take a zero day Gatlinburg, TN. This place is SO weird. It's a white trash version of Vegas. We're not sure what exactly has been the creepiest thing we've seen so far. It's a toss up between the mechanical horse riding the mechanical man or the animatronic Asian climbing up the fire pole.
So, hiking! The past week has been great. I've met some awesome people and feel much more adjusted to thru hiking. After leaving Franklin, I fell into a fun group and we hiked into the NOC a couple days later. The NOC is an outdoor center that the trail runs through and a friend and I stayed in their hostel. Yeah laundry! We also ate at the on site restaurant, and I'm beginning to feel the thru hiker appetite come on.
A couple days later, we hiked into Fontana Dam. This place is awesome! The reservoir is gorgeous and the lodge and accommodations looked nice... Not that I stayed in the lodge. The Fontana shelter is named the 'Fontana Hilton' because it offers running water and a great eating area. That night several of us walked down to the dam to explore and see the water at sunset.
Fontana is at the base of the Smokies, which has been an awesome hike so far. The Smokies are extreme- you're either going straight up or straight down. If I put a couple big mile days in, I can be out of them in a few days. We'll see how that goes! The tricky thing with the Smokies is that you have to stay at the shelters, so your mileage is controlled by the spacing of said shelters.
Because I'm taking a zero in G burg, I'll lose the three others I've been with for several days. It's fine though, I've met enough people and feel more confident in my ability to manage on my own. The trail is full of amazing people.


  1. Hey (it's Rose)...not to stalk you but I kinda am. I'll be checking your blog a lot so keep the updates coming!!!!

  2. I love hearing about your adventures! keep the updates coming!! I'm impressed with your fearless friend-making attitude... I think I should take a leaf out of your book and meet some new people this weekend. Can't wait to read your next update!