Monday, June 14, 2010

An Appalachian Tale: Part 11

15 May 2010

Yin:  This morning, coming out of Cable Gap, was pretty tough.  There seemingly was a lot of up and the humidity was so high that we were soaked with sweat within the first hour.  After about two miles of up we were presented with a very nice section of easy going downhills.  Towards the end of the trail we started seeing and hearing signs of civilization.  Within the hour we were met with the Fontana Marina.  We noticed however that this was not the location of the shelter, so we continued through the marina and straight up on the trail again for another couple of miles.  The last part of today's hike really wore on my mind because the trail was doing some weird direction changes that made no sense to me.  Eventually we made it to the very nice Fontana Dam "Hilton".  We took some much needed showers and washed our clothes in the bathroom sinks.  Once we were cleaned up a bit we made our way into town.  We noticed a shuttle for A.T. hikers at the Marina and thought it best to hitch the road back there.  We soon found out that the place was full of tourists, none of which wanted to stop and help out hikers.  We never had a problem getting a ride up to this point.  Very surprising to us.  We still met the Marina by road in about 10 minutes.  It had taken us an hour by trail!  We caught the shuttle into Fontana Village.  We had lunch at a restaurant on a hill and dropped way too much money on a mediocre sandwich.  Shortly thereafter we went to the general store and then killed some time sipping root beer while sitting in rocking chairs on the porch.  After we had our fill of the village, we headed back to the shelter for supper.  At the shelter we met a gentleman from Lithuania and a former boy scout that went by the trail name "Cowboy".  We are probably going to take an off day here as well because we caught wind of a horrible thunderstorm heading our way.  We plan to ride it out here.  I can hear the rain starting to hit the gravel outside the shelter now...

Yang:  It stormed last night at Cable Gap.  Luckily we were already settled in by that time.  It left the trail damp this morning but not too bad.  It was another humid day though.  No fun.  After several hours of walking we found our way to Fontana Marina.  We assumed at this point that we were nearly to the shelter.  Wrong.  It was another mile+ down the trail.  We did make it eventually though.  The Fontana Dam shelter (the Fontana "Hilton", as it is affectionately called) is easily the nicest shelter on the trail.  It sleeps about 20-25 and has a bath house a few hundred yards away.  The first thing on the agenda, after we arrived, was a shower!  We took turns bathing and washing clothes in the sink.  We put our now semi-clean wet clothes in the sun to dry.  Then it was off to town.  We took the road from the dam to the Marina.  It was MUCH easier than the trail.  From the Marina we caught a shuttle to Fontana Village.  The "village" turned out to be a resort.  It was over-priced and since it wasn't really a town there were not many options as to what to do.  We had an okay burger for lunch that was way over-priced.  Lame.  After that we hit up the general store in the "village"  and picked up some "supplies".  Two bottles of root beer and twelve cans of real beer.  We enjoyed the two bottles at the general store and (ignored the signs at the shelter about alcohol being prohibited) enjoyed the twelve cans at the shelter with "Cowboy" and a man from Lithuania who had through hiked in 2006.  We also hear that the weather is supposed to be bad for the next several days.  It's raining already tonight.  We may take another zero day tomorrow and wait out the weather.

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