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Appalachian Trail 2003 - Chelsea's Journals

Entry #25 - April 16, 2003

Had a good 13-mile hike into Fontana Dam yesterday. A lot of it was pretty easy hiking, so we made decent time, even with a couple of good breaks. We met a few more people – Rocky, and some guys from GA (Swampdog? I think is one of their names). We didn’t run across too many people during the whole day, though. Must have been around 2:00 when we hit the last peak and started down to Fontana. The walk down was wonderful. There were places that were so green, full of wildflowers and new plants that it was like coming down into a fairyland. The air was perfumed with a scent of flowers – not sure if it was the blooming trees or what. Got down to the highway around 4:00, or maybe before. From there it was only about a mile to the shelter. HOWEVER, the trail must have been rerouted or something, because it was nothing like the elevation profile I have! It was up, up & down, etc. for no good reason that I could see. I was genuinely POed at the Trail, even though I shouldn’t be, but ah well. Eventually we got to the shelter – this one’s called the “Fontana Hilton.” It’s made from beautiful wood, with benches, and room for 20 people. There was even Trail Magic when we got here – FOOD! Yippee! It was from Pushin up Daisies & a couple others. Walked down to the dam to take free hot showers, and came back up & had a fire. Julie, Shankadelic, Nemo, T-Bird, Rocky, Cloudwalker and a bunch of others were here – a good night.

Now we will be heading up to the village to wait for our packages. We’re here early, but hopefully it won’t be too long before we’re headed into the Smokies.

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Preparing to Hike the Appalachian Trail?

Commonly used guides by A.T. thru-hikers include the Appalachian Trail Guides (published by the Appalachian Trail Conference), the Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker's Companion, and the Appalachian Trail Data Book. The guide series includes a guide for each section, along with a series of trail maps. The Thru-Hiker's Companion has helpful info on towns, shelters, and water. The Data Book has basic distance info for road crossings, shelters, and other features. All are excellent tools for use during a long distance hike.




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