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Dirk's Rambles

Friday, March 26, 2021, 8:11 pm

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So Wednesday, March 24th, we walked 5 or 6 miles to Fontana Lake. We found Hammock there setting up trail magic. Hammock is a guy we met a few days ago at another trail magic set up done by Bacon. Hammock works for Indiana University in Bloomington in one of the athletic offices. On Wednesday, he gave us a couple of Gatorades, then we took the shuttle to Fontana Lodge to wait for Sam to pick us up.

We had lunch with a bunch of other hikers including Howdy. They I went to the computer to try to catch up with my electronic journal.

We got showers, and ate a pizza at Sams then decided to take a zero the next day because of the storms that were coming in.

The next morning (Thursday) we took Sam's car into town to resupply and brought back lunch for Sam.

After lunch we were sitting around the kitchen talking when Colleen called. She said the Trail Runner (employee of the Park Service) had run into her and Rebound asking them to leave the trail because there were tornado warnings as well as severe thunderstorm warnings. I asked them if they wanted us to pick them up and they said "Yes, please!"

Picked them up and brought them back to Sam's. They were very grateful. They took Sam's room with a private bath and started washing clothes. We ordered out for dinner then watched a movie called "Extract" which I never saw before. I was glad to be relaxing! After the movie we sat and talked then I went to bed, leaving Sam and Colleen to talk.

Next morning we got up early, packed, and left for the trail around 6:30 am. He dropped us off at our respective places. Brad and I covered 16.1 miles that day, our first in the Smokies. We camped at Russell Fields Shelter.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park requires thru hikers to register, which we did before we entered the park. We must complete our hike thru the Park within 8 days of our starting date, which is March 26. The trail thru the Park is 72 miles long.

Anyways, as I write this I am at mile 180.8. We walked 16.1 miles today and got to this site around 5:45 pm. We couldn't stay in the shelter because another group, the Boy Scouts, had signed up for it. Thru hikers are not allowed to sign up for camp sites and can only take a shelter space if it is not reserved. There were 14 boys scouts and no extra spots.

It was a very peaceful evening, even with all the people in camp.

Tomorrow there is supposed to be rain and thunderstorms so it may not be as much fun.
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