Sat, Aug 30 2014 - Smoky Mtn - Lake Fontana Backpack - BMT Sec 20b-22b (View Original Event Details)|
The group conquered a 37-mile section of the BMT over a beautiful, albeit hot and humid, Labor day weekend in the Smokies. They started Saturday by hiking through the amazing quarter-mile tunnel on the "road-to-nowhere." This tunnel was completed just before the construction of the "road-to-nowhere" was cancelled. This massive tunnel was never used by cars. The hikers cruised along the trail, which was flat and easy, slowed only by some heat-related issues. At camp the first night, the group cooled down in the spectacular and remote Lake Fontana, and chatted around a great campfire (thanks Armin!). They were were having a great time exchanging hitch-hiking stories, when rain sent them scurrying to their tents. The next day, they hiked a long but flat and beautiful section, taking in frequent views of the lake, and swimming in the lake twice more. Just before reaching camp, Evan surprised two baby bears, his first bear encounter. Monday morning the group got up very early and packed in the dark, starting out jsut after sunrise, in order to ensure an reasonable return time to Atlanta. They stopped for a break on a neat little bridge over a creek. After a long, hot, steep climb, the group chilled out (literaly) and ate lunch in the pass, just north of Shuckstack mountain. The breeze coming over the pass was blissful, and made the climb well worth it. They then chugged down the last 5mile descent to the cars at twenty-mile ranger station. The faster hikers hurried ahead to retrieve the car left at the starting point. They gathered to together to celebrate, and enjoy a fast, but well-deserved dinner at Subway.
Congratulations to all and thanks for coming out!!