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  • Writer's pictureRobert Moore

Stuck in Fontana

Updated: May 2

A word about the weather on the trail. Sometimes when you're nice and comfy at 1000 feet elevation, things can be significantly different just a few thousand feet higher. For instance, the other day when we had snow at 3500' the folks in the valley may not have even been aware.

As we have been anxious to leave the Fontana Village Resort (in the interest of still being able to send the twins to college) we have had to keep an eye on the serious weather blowing around. The Smokies top out above 6000' and there is no off ramp once committed to the through hike. Since it's a 6 or 7 day hike with no resupply there is little room for contingencies.

That is, you have to carry all of your food and expendables in with you. So, it's no simple matter to plan for a couple of extra days - that would mean 5 additional pounds of food on top of the 15 needed for 7 days.

I say all of that to say that sometimes you just have to be prudent - discretion is the better part of valor here. We just received alerts of a very strong storm moving through tonight and tomorrow so we've reluctantly decided to slip our schedule another day. This storm is bringing 75 mph gusts and heavy rain. Perfect conditions for trees to be blown down - and there are a lot of trees in the Smokies. I feel bad (and will pray) for those already on the mountain - it's gonna be a long and dangerous 36 hours up high. We'll wait it out today and head to the Fontana Hilton Shelter tomorrow for an early Friday departure.

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