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March 17th thru March 21...

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March 17, 2013 NOC NC
I got up the next morning quickly got packed up and hiked a mile into NOC where I would pick up my computer, check into the hostel and then setup to do work. It was around 11am when I finally had eaten and taken a shower and I decided to set up in the camp kitchen where there were tables for me to sprawl out all my work and get busy to getting the job done so I could get on the trail again the next day. This day I would meet Wet Dog. Wet Dog was from New Jersey. I came to find out he had started the journey a week prior to me and had been hiking on and off with K-Fox up to this point. We chatted on and off through that day while I did my work. When I had finished, I went and got a pizza, did my laundry and then settled down for the night in the hostel to be ready for the next day to get hiking again. This day K-Fox would get into NOC and I would catch up with her.
March 18, 2013 Sassafras Gap Shelter
The next day I would get up early and head out to the Sassafras Gap Shelter. It was supposed to rain that day and I would have to do a 7 mile hike strait up to the top of the mountain from NOC. As I was leaving I ran into the 2 guys and girl that were traveling from NH from the college, we exchanged hellos and then I was off up the mountain, they were staying at NOC for a zero. Well, as I hiked up and up to the Sassafras Shelter it started to rain and then thunder and lightening. As I was getting water at a mountain stream this is where I would meet Lil Engine, Timber and Ambassador (Ambo). I chatted with them for a few minutes and then we were off up the mountain again. As I was approaching the shelter hail, sleet and rain came down and luckily I made it quickly to the shelter before I was drenched. As I was unpacking and setting up to have some hot tea Wet Dog showed up drenched. We would all get stuck at this shelter because of the weather: SugarGnome, Wet Dog, Shaggy, Timber, Lil Engine and Ambo. I did not catch the other 3 people's names that had to stay for the night. Luckily this shelter was big enough for all of us to stay dry and out of the rain.
March 19, 2013... Cable Gap Shelter
The next morning I got up and quickly set out. I was going to go further than most of the people in the shelter had scheduled. I wanted to get to Fontana Dam the next day with only a few miles to hike in. I had shipped my computer to the Fontana Dam Lodge where I had planned on doing the rest of the work that I would have to do. I had planned on staying two days. It was a very nice day to hike and I was off. As I got up the first mountain that day, I came to a bald and the sunrise after the storm over the mountains was gorgeous. The day was a great day to hike and I would pass by Lil Engine, Timber and Ambo throughout the day. We approached Jacob's Ladder together and this was one of the most challenging sections as the hill was pretty much a 90 degree angle going up. You had to bend forward because if you stood up you felt like you would fall backwards because of your backpack. I made it to the shelter where I would spend one more night with the 3. That night I found out that Timber's grandmother lived down the street from my parents in San Angelo, TX. Amazing what a small world we have.
March 20, 2013 and March 21, 2013 Fontana Dam - Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP)
I got up early the next morning and hiked 8 miles into Fontana Dam. I got there around 10:30 in the morning and quickly got a shower and ate. Then I started working. The next day I was taking a break from work when I met SugarGnome and Wet Dog in the lobby of the lodge. They asked if they could stay with me for the night. I finished my work and they got to spend the night. We did laundry, I got a massage and I ate some great food.
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