7: spence field to Fontana dam

Last night was crap. Some idiot built spence field shelter in perhaps the windiest place on earth (and no one has installed wind turbines there!) and then they put a tarp up. Back and forth all night. 

And THEN the people next to me left out a full roll of toilet paper so some little mouse friend kept visiting me with toilet paper nests. Everyone woke up with toilet paper nests. 
Knees and hips hurt too. The good news is it was warm. I mean TOASTY. I had to take off my socks and my jacket and I would have taken off my bonus leggings but it was too difficult inside my sleeping bag nest. Still, what a treat to sleep with warm feet and no socks! 
It was a slow morning getting around. Dr Love made me his special breakfast– carnation instant breakfast, chocolate elation granola, and trail mix. With water. It sounds disgusting but holy crap was that good. 
I stretched for a while and we headed out around 9. The trail started off easy. Then it got hot. It got so hot I finally put on shorts and pulled back the mess of hair I’ve just been letting flop around in the wind. 

  
Stylish. 

  
Action shot of my muscular legs. Beast legs. 

  
Upon my throne 

We cruised for a while and then hit Doe Knob. There are NOT enough words in the English language for me to accurately describe my feelings about Doe Knob. Maybe if I added in German. Something angry and Anglo-Saxon. Every time you would think “ah! That must be the top!” HAHA NOPE. there’s more to come. 

  
 
Here’s a dead mouse (?) for my mom. 

  
Eventually we made it to the top and started going downhill though. And I do mean downhill. 

Oh! At one point I was ahead of Dr Love and I heard a noise on the trail. I looked up and there were all these deer just RIGHT THERE. they didn’t move either. When the wind blew they would look at me (a little offended, I think) but they just kept on eating. It was amazing. 

  
We stopped at Shuckstack Firetower. I’d promised Carpenter I would take pictures for him there. He’d missed it on his hike out of the smokies in December. I had a gorgeous day for it (except for the gnats and my smell). 

   
 
   
     

  

  

  
In my almost-an-engineer-in-training (so,basically my opinion counts for nothing except I have taken a lot of math classes) this Firetower is a death trap. 
We went down and down and down and down. And then, miles later, we hit the road. FONTANA DAM. 

 
 

  

Checking out my sunburn 
The middle of the dam was where my section ended. I’d walked out here during my last weekend section, so I had connected my dots.   

 
  
Dr Love, however, needed to get to the marina to finish his thru hike, so on we went for another 1.4 miles. That made today’s easy 17.6 miles into a total of 19.2 (if you count shuckstack). So, since my other “easy” day also added a .75 there and .75 back blue blaze to mt Cammerer, that made today one of my lower mileage days (not counting the 3 miles to deer park or 7 to standing bear). Pretty good for a lazy section hiker. 

  
We got to the marina and called for a shuttle. We went straight to the restaurant and I ate a ton of food. Then we showered and now I am typing this up to post in the morning. No word from big critter on my glasses, so I’ll have to make a decision on that soon. 

  
The bathroom at the dam was incredible. 

And there’s my official section done!  Wow this feels like an anticlimactic end. I don’t know that I’m ready to type up my feelings on this yet, so I think…you might be looking for some more blog posts on this section. Let’s not put this one in the books just yet. 

   
I am clean

Better than a thermarest   

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