Day 13 – Hogback Gap to Fontana Dam

We had a good bit of rain last night and the tarp did not leak, so that was good. We hiked about 11 miles of rugged terrain down into Fontana Dam around lunch.


NC rugged trail

The dam itself is cool and is the largest east of the Rockies.


Fontana Lake


AT goes right over the dam, Smokies in background



We decided to stay tonight and tomorrow at the nearby Hike Inn. Jeff from the inn picked us up and his wife Nancy took us into Robbinsville for dinner and groceries. Our third maildrop with resupplies was here when we arrived (Thanks Ma and Pa Hnatow).

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we have our first true zero day with no hiking at all since we started, so that will be really good to rest our sore feet, knees, and muscles for a whole day. Jeff from the Hike Inn also told us about 2/3 of attempted thru-hikers quit by or before Fontana Dam and that we made it through the toughest and most rugged part of the trail (outside of New Hampshire and Maine), so that was really encouraging to hear.

Vital stats :
Mood – psyched
Physical state – sore but good
Smell – so much better than this morning
Song stuck in my head – Cuckoo Song by A Silent Film

4 thoughts on “Day 13 – Hogback Gap to Fontana Dam

  1. Mom and Dad Heiser

    Glad to hear from you guys today and that the stormy weather has not affected you. Great job! Jeff from the Hike Inn said it best; you two are among the top one third of the gritty thru-hikers club. Welcome words to be sure. Keep on keeping on. Love to both.

  2. Mom Hn

    We’ve been anxiously watching the Weather Channel about the storms in the NC/TN area. Glad to hear you have safe and doing well. Give the muscles some well-deserved rest! Thank you for the updates…they keep us sane! 🙂 Prayers, love, encouragement and smooth trails to you!

  3. Dad

    Sooooo good to hear from the gritty pair! I hope the storms avoid your path. I just discovered how to follow the AT on Google Earth….really neat to see the “street” views and posted pics. It looks like it is impossible to hike in a straight line except for short distances. Congrats for getting to Fontana Dam!


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