From the Fontana Hilton to the first shelter in the Smokies settle in for a 12 mile arduous climb of almost 4,300 feet. With the extra food, bear spray and full water, my pack is probably up to 45-46lbs.
Once on top of the Shuckstack fire tower, the views are incredible, but it’s a bit sketchy…
My daily scenic view lunches are always a good time to look out and consider the larger picture, as well as pay attention to the little things all around me. We need to remember to be still sometimes and let things develop.
Below is a map showing the direction of my starting point, almost 200 miles away, with the corresponding picture from the summit. I’ve never been able to look at the most distant landscape on the horizon and think to myself, “I just walked from there…”
The fauna in the Smokies picks up almost immediately. First deer, then wild turkey. Being protected, they are really approachable.
Taking a break in a weird place. Why not? Almost there!
Dinner with some friendly south bound section hikers tonight.
Final stats today, my biggest day yet for climbing.