Thursday, May 18, 2017
Start: Derrick Knob shelter
End: Fontana Dam shelter
I woke up at 6:10am and left the shelter this morning at 7am.
From the shelter (4882′), I climbed over Thunderhead Mountain (5527′), past Rocky Top (5440′) and Spence Field shelter (4916′), and then down to Russell Field Shelter (4348′). I descended to Big Abrams Gap (4115′), climbed to Mollies Ridge shelter (4586′), descended to Ekaneetlee Gap (3842′), climbed Doe Knob (4520′), and then started the long descent out of the Smokeys.
I arrived at Fontana Dam shelter (1853′) at 5:30pm. I walked past the visitors center (1700′) around 5pm and they weren’t open, though the guide said they should be, and the soda machine was out of order. The Fontana Hilton is quite nice. There’s a formal bathroom and shower with running water. The shelter is nice though I decided to tent. I was also totally bummed to find all four hostels at where I wanted to stop tomorrow evening are full up and don’t have space. Unfortunately, that will mean rearranging my miles for the next few days. And the weather forecast isn’t so great – rain every day for the next 6-7 days. *Sigh* We shall see how much suffering is involved.