Day 19- I got up and out of Fontana early which is new for me. I think most people stayed around for another day (zero day). The AT goes right over the Fontana Dam then up the hill to enter the Smokies. You have to register to thru hike and you have 8 days to be through. I will be crisscrossing the Tennessee and North Carolina borders through it all.
I wound up at the Russell Field Shelter which is further than I expected to go but I just got a bad vibe from the people at the previous shelter. It’s not that they were dangerous, just not friendly. The AT guy was there doing repairs and he was super nice, he said this shelter was an “easy” 3 miles. Now we are still talking mountain miles here and I would really like to ask what is their definition of easy. When my shadow starts getting long and my belly starts to rumble I know it’s time to put down for the night. I did get here in good time, I think my adrenaline kicks in because for once I was actually Flying Tiger.
The people here are great. Another lady I had met once we entered the Smokies was here, her name is Tadpole. She’s a little older too but quick. Another kid, Brandon, works for Gulfstream and is going home tomorrow. I met a few here from around Detroit who were very nice, they are through hiking.
So earlier today I was coming around a switchback and stopped dead in my tracks. The forest floor as far as your eyes could see were covered in small white flowers. It was like being in a fairy tale. The sun was beaming down through the leaveless trees and made everything so bright. I found my gait slowed down and once in awhile a sweet aroma would fill the air. I felt as though I was in a Disney movie as I have never seen anything this beautiful. I came upon a tree with a hole through it and imagined this is where the seven dwarfs would be coming home to soon. It’s as if God was saying, slow down, take a look around, appreciate what you have. It was really quite emotional, I must say. This went on for about a mile and I was mesmerized.
Just around a corner just as it began, it abruptly ended. That is something I will never forget. It was definitely God’s handiwork! It is supposed to rain the next two days, let’s hope it goes good! I hear a screech owl now, which is cool, and a hoot owl. Everyone is in their bags so Good Night Sweet Prince and Princess and Sweet Dreams!