Sunday, May 5th

We all slept in until 8:30, the noise of waking hikers increasing exponentially over a few minutes. I'd spent a fitful night trying to sleep, as my sinuses were clogged in the humid weather. I was told that I sat up in my sleep and declared "If it says 'Moo', moo!" Words to live by, no?

I hitched the 3 miles with Drew to get breakfast. We had to walk 1/3 of the way before we got a ride. We finally got picked up by a completely insane gentlemen in his 60s, who muttered at us the whole time and shook the dog on his lap like a morocco. I just said "You bet" and "Uh-huh" a lot, and he seemed happy. After a breakfast of grits, waffles, toast, and other goodies, I hitched back to the shelter. I went down to the edge of the lake in hopes of uncovering some arrowheads.

The lake was a sad site. The edges of it, shale and mud, crumbled into the water as I watched. There were old tires, two-litre bottles, cans and rubbish floating around. Each time a powerboat would push through the water nearby, waves would pummel the shore and the lake grew a little bigger. I don't claim to be any sort of an expert in this area, but this whole dam and lake just doesn't seem sustainable.

Some people swam in the lake, but I retreated to the shelter. Soon about ten of us piled into the back of a pickup truck and went into town to get ice cream. Most people got a big ol' hot fudge sundae, which is what I did. Along with 32 ounces of orange juice and a rocking chair, I was a happy boy. We spent a couple of hours just rocking and talking, from trail talk to religion to politics. It was nice to get to know some of these other thru-hikers.

We spent the evening around a few of the cement picnic tables in front of the Fontana Hilton, eating and talking. M.C. Brandy bought chicken, tuna, crackers, chips and salsa, providing our snack items. Twinkie the Kid, The Brothers, Crag and I discussed a bit of everything, from WWF Bible Wrestling (I won't elaborate), cartoons, food and backpacking equipment. Crag produced a backpacker's guitar and did his best Bob Dylan imitation. Iron Phil cooked up some Soloman's Seal, Fiddlehead, Ramps, Wild Garlic, tuna and garlic, also making a salad out of wild greens. We all ate well and had a good time until midnight, when most of us hit the sack.

Next Entry