Jim and Emily made us a delicious breakfast this morning and were ready to help us out in whatever way we needed. I seem to be getting a cold and it was chilly and raining out so I decided to take a zero with some other hikers in town. Stretch decided to hike so we’ll meet up in Fontana later. Keeper and Owf decided to do trail magic at the Fontana Dam shelter so Jim took them down to the grocery store to pick up sodas and snacks. They bought a ton of stuff! Then we said goodbye to Emily and all headed out in the truck.

We dropped Stretch off at Stecoah Gap and continued to Fontana. It took a bit of driving around to find the shelter. I helped run the goodies down to the shelter and then hopped back in the truck. Jim was going to drop me off at the Phillips Motel in Robbinsville to meet up with Sparky and Pacemaker and Runner Up. When we passed Stecoah Gap again, we saw a bunch of hikers there including Mellow Johnny. He had already called for a ride to a hostel but everyone else jumped in the truck for the ride to the motel.

I forgot I’ve been to this area before, several years ago on a motorcycle trip. I don’t think I was in the central part of town but I did recognize several areas on our drive around today. The motorcycle road “Tail of the Dragon” is nearby, in addition to the Cherohala Skyway and the Ironhorse Motorcycle Lodge where I stayed.

Jim dropped us off and I went inside to make some phone calls before heading to the grocery store for a resupply and the pharmacy for some decongestants. I feel like I bought way too much food but I really need to start upping my calories so we’ll see how it works out for the next 5 days. I’ve been almost constantly oversupplied so far because trail magic and town food keep getting in the way of eating my hiker food, but that should probably happen less in the Smokies, where I will be day after tomorrow.

Rain should be over by lunch tomorrow and then it should be sunny and 60s for the next several days. Of course that’s in town. Who knows what the Smokies weather will be like. I’m expecting freezing weather again. Some Southbounders I ran into the other day said they were breaking trail through waist deep snow in some parts of the park last week. There are plenty of people ahead of me though so I don’t expect to be breaking trail anywhere.

We had a big leftovers dinner and then vegged out on tv before arranging the shuttle back to the trail for the morning.


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  1. deals gap is a great place I did the dragon a few years ago also, the scenery was spectacular sounds like your in a good place. keep it up kid you inspire me.

  2. Does “take a zero” mean you’re not going to hike that day? Good luck with the Smokies! Miss you!

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