Fondana Dam Shelter
Day: 23
Mileage: 163.9

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
165.9Fontana Dam Shelter (1,775') ?6.7mS; 11.4mN 1775
05/07/96 8:22 pm

Well today SUCKED! Well it might not have been all bad, but it sure was trying.

First I did not get the best sleep last night, both because of electric lights and also because Genia .Acident Waiting to Happen. wanted to stay up all night and make noise.

Waiting for a fellow hiker to go to breakfast together and we miss breakfast time by about 10 min. I still got cereal, but it wasn.t what I hoped for.

The Fontana resort was out of fuel and the gas station was closed. Luckey, .Max Packtor. saw a can by the registration desk they use in emergancy lanters, and they gave me some.

Also forgot to pick up the vanishing scent Ben Gay, so I hope my leg doesn.t need any.

Then, I forget to mail back both the gold lighter and my boot treatment stuff...good more weight in my pack.

Then I get out of town finaly, and about a mile down the road it starts to rain.

Then I get on the AT and take my first fall of the trip and slightly twist my left ankle, just what my left leg needs!

Also I have had the farts all day and G-d they are bad!

The shelter here is great and I am here with 3 thru-hikers and a guy who is going through the motions, but mostly hitchhiking from trail town to trial town, nice guy and it that is how he wants to do it who am I to comment.

Was able to give some the one 'hiker' some extra food that I wasn't in the mood to eat, and also helped out 2 others with a o-ring because their stove and they were greatful.

Another thunder storm is rolling in now, and it will probably be raining shortly.

Well tomarrow the Smokies, and a hopefully better day!

05/08/96 11:27 am

Last night I was walked on by a skunk! Did no dammage, except eating one of Iron Phill.s tea bags....good skunk!

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Mollies Ridge Shelter G.S.M.N.P.
Day: 24
Mileage: 174.5

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
166.3Fontana Dam Visitor Center (1,700') 1700
166.7Fontana Dam, Little Tennessee River (1,740'); southern boundary, Great Smoky Moun-tains National Park 1740
167.4Lakeview Drive West, Benton MacKaye Trail (1,800') 1800
170.8Shuckstack Fire Tower (3,800') 3800
172.1Birch Spring Gap (3,680')?tentsites, spring 3680
174.2Doe Knob (4,520') 4520
175.6Ekaneetlee Gap (3,842')?spring west 300 ft. 3842
177.3Mollies Ridge Shelter (4,570') ?11.4mS; 3.1mN 4570
05/08/96 4:36 pm

Well the first hike in the Smokies, and I did not see a bear. I did see a lot of intresting birds (including a hawk) and squirls but thats it.

Met up with Sunshine and her sister. Seem like good people. They are here already along with 3 hikers out for a week (from Michagan where they go to university).

Great hiking day, but a bit buggy. But thank G-d no rain!!

When I got here there were about 18 people here, but most moved on to the next shelter 2.5 miles away. They were all at the last shelter last night were itwas MOBED. Glad I stayed at the Hilton last night.

05/09/96 9:49 am

Well last night was a scream, Botney Boy had us all laughing once again. Also Ranger Rick (no joke, thats his name) was here. He hunts boars to control them and was here just letting us know if we heard gunshots it was him. He was very knowegable about the park too.

Good campfire was put on by 3 college kids out for the week (campfire ashes) and it helped the terrible natt problem was well.

During the night, the collage girl said .there.s a two. and got the whole shelter up. All it was was two tree stumps! She will NEVER live it down I am sure!

Well should get my ass moving, but having a hard time doing it.

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Spence Field Shelter G.S.M.N.P.
Mileage: 179.6
05/09/96 12:41 pm

Here for a break and us the only Privey I have seen so far in the GSMNP. When they build one they do it right!

Two great balds, with views, coming here. They are a nice change of pace from trees, rocks and more trees.

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Derrick Knob Shelter G.S.M.N.P.
Day: 25
Mileage: 185.9

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
177.3Mollies Ridge Shelter (4,570') ?11.4mS; 3.1mN 4570
178Devils Tater Patch (4,775') 4775
179Little Abrams Gap (4,120') 4120
180.4Russell Field Shelter (4,360')?3.1mS; 3mN 4360
181.8Little Bald (5,200')?vista 5200
183.2Eagle Creek Trail to Spence Field Shelter (4,915')?3mS; 6.3mN Bote Mountain Trail 4915
184.4Rocky Top (5,440')?vista 5440
185Thunderhead (east peak) (5,527')?vista 5527
186Beechnut Gap (4,920')?spring west 200 ft. 4920
186.6Mineral Gap (5,030') 5030
186.9Brier Knob (5,210')?vista 5210
188.3Sugar Tree Gap (4,435') 4435
189Chestnut Bald (4,950') 4950
189.3Derrick Knob Shelter (4,880') ?6.3mS; 5.7mN 4880
05/09/96 8:15 pm

Here in my bivey outside the shelter. The natts are terible AGAIN!

It was a hard hike, but going over the fields was a great change from trees, rocks and more trees.

It is a full house in the shelter and I gave my spot up for Jim (a.k.a. Sid) because he was deader than I was.

I do have to state for the record that the elevation profile on the GSMNP map STINKS, is full of bull ect ect ect......

It also rained shortly after I got in (but before Jim got in) but it was short and gave a short repreave on the natt situation, but the repreave was way to short!

Since M.C. Brandy and Botny Boy are both here it is quite lively to say the least. Iron Phill pissed off a lot of people a few days ago at the Fontana Hilton, so he is staying amazingly quiet (Thank G-d).

It is also amazing how often the movie .The Holy Grail. (Monty Pithon) comes up in conversations. Also the original cast of Saterday Night Live is popular.

Leg doing ok now, but a blister on my right foot is hard to keep moleskin on. Every time I put something on it, it falls off half way through the day, I will have to find something that works soon, I am running out of layers of skin.

It is a nice sunset tonight, but still not as nice as Cheoa Bald.

Silers Bald Shelter G.S.M.N.P.
Day: 26
Mileage: 191.4

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
189.3Derrick Knob Shelter (4,880') ?6.3mS; 5.7mN 4880
189.5Sams Gap (4,995')?spring west 300 ft. 4995
192.2Buckeye Gap (4,817')?spring east 600 ft. 4817
195Silers Bald Shelter (5,460')?5.7mS; 1.7mN 5460
05/10/96 12:40 pm

Made a really short day of it today. Hoping Iron Phill, who I had a run in with this morning, passes by and goes to at least the next shelter, if not beyond. The guy is intresting, but he talks from sun up to sun down: blah blah blah blah blah! He started to badmouth Hidie Gone Burgler and Smokey Mo and that was all I could take.

On the up side today, I SAW A BEAR!!!!! I was stoped because someone in front of my scrached something into the trail (with an arrow). I looked to were the arrow was pointing and a small bear, maybe a year or so old, bolted down the hill. I then realized what the person wrote .BEAR.. It happed so quick that there was no time to think, my jaw droped and I wached as this magnificent animal just ran as fast as it could. What a sight!!!

Going to make it a short day today and stop here. I could go on but I know the shelter will be full. I will end up sleeping outside tomarrow night because of the croud at the next shelter and it is a weekend, but I can live with that so long as I can hang my pack inside.

Oh yes, forgot to mention at I woke up last night, for a piss of course, and it was a fantanstic night for stargazing. Quite a sight indeed!

05/10/96 8:46 pm

Well I am still here, and boy I needed the break. I took a .Shower., did laundry, aired my sleeping bag and kicked back and read.

I must have been into the reading, because Iron Phill came and told me I had better get my sleeping bag in before is started raining. Sure enough, it started raining a minute later. Lucky I listened and got my sleeping bag in time.

Iron Phill and I seemed to get along during the time he was here, so I guess we both had time enough to cool down.

Now I am in the shelter with 4 local boys, 2 section hikers from Florida and the brothers from Kansass. Good to be with some new people for a change.

Since the storm came through it has gotten a little colder and more windy. People tell me there is a 70% chance of rain and thunderstorms fore tomarrow...Hope they are wrong.

Mt Collins Shelter G.S.M.N.P.
Day: 27
Mileage: 199.4

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
195Silers Bald Shelter (5,460')?5.7mS; 1.7mN 5460
195.2Silers Bald (5,607')?vistas 5607
196.7Double Spring Gap Shelter (5,505') ?1.7mS; 6.6mN 5505
199Mt. Buckley (6,582')?vista 6582
199.4Clingmans Dome (6,643')?observation deck 6643
200.1Mt. Love (6,446') 6446
202.8Sugarland Mountain Trail Mt. Collins Shelter (5,900')?6.6mS; 7.8mN 5900
05/11/96 4:04 pm

It was quite a day. Woke up to threatening skys, but packed up anyway. Before I was ready to go there was a shower, but it stopped before I got going. Made it to Double Spring shelter in good time. I took a break there and enjoyed the privey. It once again sprinkeled but stopped before I left. Then it started looking worse and worse. Made it to Clingmans Dome, but it was so socked in, there was nothing to see. Got some tourists to take a photo just as a joke. Whent down the tower and ate a snack with a section hiking south bounder. There was a guy there with a getoblaster just blairing the music. Some people just don't get it do they! I then headed down the road because I was out of water and was told the bathroom had running water. Good thing I did because of the way there it started tor rain, by the time I got there it was pouring. Spent some time there with Iron Phill and 3 section hikers. After a while I was cold and hungry and making jokes about cooking some Ramen Noodels. Well joke turned into reality and I just loved the tourist's faces when they came in to take a piss and I was sitting there cooking.
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By this time it had stopped raining. While I was just finishing cooking, two park empoyees came in. I thought I would be in deep crap, but they looked at me and said NOTHING! After eating I whent back up the tower and took some 'after shots' and you could see someting at least.
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All though the afternoon's hike, I just kept thinking how absured the whole scene was. I mean cooking in a bathroom...I.m a thru hiker NOW! (to pariphrase Robin Williams.s I.m a father now joke).

Now here at the shelter, and even though it is a saturday, no one is here. The spring here does SUCK, I had a major problem just filling my water bag half way. It is cool now, and I heard that the forcast said it will be in the low 40.s tonight. That would make it the coldest night since Springer Mt. But I will be in a shelter and dry (if not warm).

05/12/96 10:41 am

Yes, its 10:41 and I am still here, I have gotten out of my sleeping bag once to take a piss and thats it. It has been raining and hailing on and off all morning, along with a gusty wind.

Here with 3 thru hikers and 4 weekender (who are all pulling off today).

Sooner or latter, I will push off but only when it warms up (I hope).

This shelter is crawling with life. There are two birds that come right in the shelter, also a squirl has done the same thing. No mice though (and there was much rejoicing)!!

Icewater Spring Shelter G.S.M.N.P.
Day: 28
Mileage: 206.9