Kate and I were talking yesterday about the possibility of her needing to stop a couple of days earlier than we had originally planned. Her knees have been hurting her a lot the past 5 days, and have been made worse by a fall during the rainstorms yesterday. It is important for Kate to be able to backpack on Monday, when she goes to work as a Ranger for Philmont Scout Ranch, in Cimarron, New Mexico.
We have made plans for Kate to stay and rest at a shelter called the 'Fontana Hilton' near Fontana Dam. This trail shelter is one of the nicest shelters on the Appalachian Trail. It has a restroom, showers, and a charging station that is solar powered. On Friday, she will travel to Knoxville and visit Uncle Dan and Aunt Laura before flying to Colorado.
We parted ways around noon. But before I left, I met a man named Janga. After talking for a little bit, he added onto my Trail Name. I am
now 'Billy the Kid'.
I continued backpacking another 12 miles into the Great Smoky National Park. Due to the rains, I only ran into two people on the trail and four at the shelter. At Mollies Ridge Shelter, I met John and Steven, and Rock and Roll. I tried to build a fire this evening, but after 45 min, I decided to go to bed instead.
The rats in this shelter are super loud. They don't even wait for you to fall asleep before making noise.
Cable Gap Shelter to Mollies Ridge Shelter
Location: Latitude: 35.54581, Longitude: -83.79361