Fri, Nov 26 2021 - Great Smoky MNT NP Fontana Lake (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Grant Brown, Niki, Luke Warren, Armin, Fay, Andrey K|
We had an excellent trip to the Smokeys. It was a great and jovial group. We met luke at the marina and all six of us began hiking song the AT to the Fontana Hilton At shelter complete with lake view, picnic tables, and phone charging. We then walked over to the Fontana dam where it was very windy. We continued on the AT to the Lakeshore Trail and on to backcountry camp 90 at Lost Cove. We made it in with just enough daylight to set up tents and the camp kitchen. Andrey and Armin did an excellent job gathering wood and managing the campfire. We did something different for this trip by sharing a nice large MSR Dragonfly stove, gravity water filter, and lots of homemade dehydrated food. The sharing lightened our loads and was very efficient in camp. It also fostered a sense of community and teamwork as we worked together to prepare the food and keep the water filter flowing. Everyone did a great job with the individual ways that they contributed to this procedure. In the end, it was a very nice feeling to support one another. The warm Frito pies went down very on the first night as the temperature went into the 20’s. All stayed warm and the next day we headed out about noon to meander toward Proctor continuing along the Lakeshore Trail. As we prepared for our second dinner of cheesy chicken penne pasta soup, refried beans, and tortilla, Andrey treated us to a Russian ritual of vodka sharing by locking forearms with your buddy! The second night was not as cold and the coyotes and bobcats treated us to several beautiful serenades. The next morning we rolled out and headed down to Ollie Cove to meet our shuttle boat. Along the shore, I noticed lots of coyote tracks, a bear track, and the hide of a deer. I mentioned this to the shuttle boat driver and wondered if it were okay for a deer to have been taken by a hunter in the national park. I didn’t think any more of it until I pulled into my home and the phone range from Syliva, NC. A female voice said she was a law enforcement ranger from GSMNP and wanted to know if I had camped last night in Proctor. I told her yes I had and wondered OMG what did we do?! She said the marina had reported I’d seen a gut pile and she wanted to ask me about the possible illegal deer kill. I was impressed that they would be so efficient about enforcing national park protections for wildlife. . . . It was a really wonderful trip with a wonderful group of people!