Day 21 on the trail. 3 weeks has actually gone by pretty quickly. A few days ago, we made it to Fontana, NC. We stayed at the Fontana lodge, which was a pretty nice place and had a great hiker rate. I shared a room with Renata (snail), and sparky shared with Clous (turtle). Longstride and Silvergirl also stayed at the lodge. It made for a great "trail family" Easter dinner. Here's the gang.
After Fontana, we put in our biggest miles so far. 13.8 miles on Monday, and 14.7 miles on Tuesday. We wanted to get some miles done quick so we could have a shorter hike today with more time to relax in town.
Last night was our coldest night so far, and I hope we don't ever get colder. Forecast was for 21°, and I'm pretty sure it was correct. I had lots of layers on, and was in my zero degree sleeping bag by 7pm. I stayed warm enough. My water bottle besides me froze overnight. It was so cold this morning that I had to wait til about 8 o'clock before I would crawl out of my sleeping bag. We hiked on frozen ground to Clingmans Dome. This is the highest point on the AT with an elevation of 6643 ft. It also marks about 200 miles for us on the AT! What better way to celebrate than to come into town and sleep in a warm hotel for a night? This was made a quick possibility because Sparky's brothers met us at the dome for Sparky's birthday. Happy birthday sparky!!!
When I arrived at my hotel, I ran into Wobbles and Voltron. I hadn't seen them since before Franklin, so it has been nice to catch up. We also ran into incline again and talked him into staying the night out of the cold.
Of course, we need to get back to the trail tomorrow, and the cold will still be there. Brrr. Not looking forward to that cold again, but looking forward to getting to hot springs in 6 days.
Send all your warm vibes my way, friends. Goodnight for now.