We made it to Fontana Dam! Kind of. My parents picked us up today at a gap just 7.2ish miles from the dam. They fed us great food and let us wear ~real clothes~ and tomorrow they are going to slack pack us into Fontana! We'll begin hiking into the Smokies on Tuesday!
We took a zero in Franklin, and then high tailed it to the NOC. We had to figure out how we would meet up with my parents, who are traveling between Atlanta and Roanoke from California for Spring Break!
So far my favorite moments have been at summits with beautiful views, knowing that I worked hard for it, enjoying it with other hikers!
Other favorite moments have been zero days, hanging out with other hikers and drinking beers. We took a "beero" at NOC because we weren't planning on taking a zero but we wanted to hang out and have some drinks with our new friends! Plus our knees hurt after that long decent.
Speaking of the decent into the NOC... That was by far the hardest day for me so far. We did 16.5 miles, which made it our longest day by about 0.3 but the terrain was much more difficult and it was pouring rain for much of the day, which made the trail slippery and a bit terrifying at times. We both fell down. It happens, we're fine. I'm sure it will happen many more times.
The climb out of the NOC was hard too, especially with the memory of a lazy day drinking beer and hanging out by the river fresh on my mind. Luckily, the sky was clear and beautiful and the view made the climb totally worth it!
Anyway, I'm still figuring out how much and often to share on the blog. Mostly, I'm enjoying myself and feeling great. I got my first blister! I slide about 15 feet down the trail in the pouring rain! Everything smells terrible! I am starting to feel like a long distance backpacker!
We are starting to take longer lunches and relax. We decided we want to do about 10-13 miles and make sure we get plenty of rest! can't wait to slack pack tomorrow and get on with the Smokies.