May 2- First day in the Great Smoky Mountains
We were dropped by Jeff of the Hike Inn at Fontana Dam after a lecture on how to avoid bears, snakes, ticks, Prussian hogs (who sound like pigs on steroids), and lightening which is the number one hiker killer. If I knew he was going to give this little talk I would've recorded it. Very amusing but poignant.
We started climbing and I spent the whole day with Bonjour walking slowly and chatting. It was a very pleasant day and the pace was just right to walk up a mountain and still hold a conversation. Feet area sore.
I must admit the park is beautiful. Lots of rules, yes, but there's a reason it's the most visited park in the USA. Several people in the shelter have seen bears today -- one with multiple cubs. There are some trail maintainers here rebuilding the bear cables and they say up ahead is a sow with four cubs!
We're at Mollies Ridge shelter at mile 176.8. There are biting bugs all around us and having dinner was a pain. No privy, just a mind field of past abuses. The temp is dropping and we have to hang the whole pack and not just the food bag. Will be interesting.