Dave has made it to Fontana Dam. He called me while he was sitting on the wall at the reservoir opening his 1st mail package. He was very excited to get letters, phone card, pictures and gifts from home.
Fontana Dam is located in North Carolina. It forms Fontana Lake, 29 miles of beauty on the southern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Appalachian Trail crosses OVER the Dam as the trail will wind in and out of Tennessee and North Carolina. The Dam is the highest dam in the eastern United States.
The powerhouse contains 3 generating units with a total generating capacity of 225,000 kilowatts. Electricity is generated as water is released through the turbines at Fontana. Additional power is generated as the same water passes through the turbines at 11 downstream dams.
He is staying tonight at the Fontana Hilton…What I says the Hilton!!! I thought you were tenting and staying in shelters. He reassured me that the “Hilton” was in fact a shelter w/double sets of bunks on each side – will sleep 24, a clean, lighted privy (bathroom for those that don’t know) just up the hill off the footpath and hot showers too. Wow, guess it is like the “Hilton” in the hiker world.
He went today and got his permit to be able to enter, hike and stay at the shelters in the Smokey Mountains. He will enter the park on Wednesday morning. Forecast for the next 6 days looks pretty good – high60’s during the day and low 40’s at night. Good hiking weather. Maybe some rain and clouds Friday night and Saturday but other than that it looking good. Well, that is if Weather Underground is correct. He should be able to take some spectacular photos.
He hopes to finish the National Forest in 6 days. It is approx 70 miles long. The Appalachian Trail is fairly remote to most sections of the Smokey Mountain National Park. He won’t actually see a lot of people except for the tourist sections, beginning, Clingman’s Dome and some other spots. He has enough supplies as there are no stores to get him through these sections.
He is psyched and ready to tackle all that the Smokey’s has to offer despite his right knee giving him some trouble. Go get’em!!!
Do you know what lives in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park?
30 different kinds of Salamanders. That is right it is known as the Salamander Capital of the World due to its cool, moist, climate. Black Bears, estimated 1,500 – that is a lot of bears (better hang that food bag and sleep in the shelters PTD (Pony Tail Dave), Birds – over 200 species, Reptiles – over 38 different species, Fish – 58 species, Numerous species of land snails, insects and spiders and that is not to mention the wild boars, deer and other mammals that he could cross paths with.
Dave will encounter the highest elevation on the Appalachian trail and 2nd highest mountain east of the Mississippi river.
Clingman's Dome -Elevation: 6,643' (yes, higher than Mt Washington)
Not sure if he will have cell service in the Smokey’s but he will try to call to give me updates. So, if you don’t see any posts for a little bit don’t be worried. He isn’t going anywhere. :)