I was with Dirty J and his pup Kira when we first walked off the trail onto the road a ways from town. A marina sat right by so we walked and laid by the water. I watched them jump in comfortably from my little hot sun spot on the bank, the water was freezing! We then waited an hour for a hitch into town; we were so discouraged but were completely lifted up by a couple who gave us a ride and more. They supplied Dirty J and I with everything we needed just to support us in our dream. She said she was more than happy to do what we needed in hope that some day if her kids were doing the same, someone would help them to their next point. We both left feeling honored to have met them, they have great hearts and with more people like them the world would be a better place.
After resupplying us with a few things they dropped us at the restaurant in Fontana Village, a resort center. There I ate a burger called the Spicy Donkey and good lord it was true to its name. It had a layer of jalapeños almost as thick as the patty. I ate half before letting my ego go and taking off close to all the rest of the peppers. There Dirty J and I met up with Bones and his dog Ras and James-now Govna.
I was stuck at Fontana dam for three nights waiting for my resupply from my mom since prices at the lodge were so expensive. I spent most of my time hanging by the fire and down by the water. Outside my tent I had a gorgeous view of Fontana lake and of the Smokies that seemed to hang above us, and just down the trail a little ways there was a shale beach with the prettiest blue and green water. The rock slid under our feet as we walked to the best cliff; we all laughed because walking that two tenths of a mile across the shore without sliding the whole ways down seemed the most challenging thing we had done so far.
I climbed up one of the shorter cliffs and readied myself to jump. The water knocked the breath out of me when I first jumped in. It was bonechilling, I could hardly stay emerged for a minute. It did refresh me though, similar to taking an ice bath after a hard practice. We all took turns jumping in, skipped rocks, and threw sticks for the dogs until we were hungry and headed back to camp.
That night Bones turned twenty-five so Ms. Janet, the reknown trail angel, brings by hamburgers and hot dogs, cupcakes and all the fixings for a great barbecue and about twenty of us thru hikers grilled out and socialized all evening. The moon was full over the lake, it was an awesome day.
That next day I received my package from the post office which resupplied me twice, one for going through the Smokies and one for when I was to complete the Smokies (moms are the best!). I grabbed a sprite and some fries and headed back to the trail. It felt good to be walking again.