Day 16: The Hilton

Day 16

Yellow Creek Gap to Fontana Dam Shelter

Miles Hiked: 6.9

AT Milage: 165.7

This morning I woke up in my tent where I was camped in the front yard of Creekside Bed and Breakfast. The creek was between me and the house and it was so nice to listen to it all night long. I packed up my tent and went inside to join everyone for breakfast. I ate breakfast with Rockslide, Soup, Fern, Giggles, and a random person staying there because he was in town for a mini coop show. The communal breakfast was fun. Shortly after, Cynthia drove us back to the trail head.

We had a super easy day hiking to Fontana dam shelter. I thought we were going to hike over the actual dam today but that will happen tomorrow. There was some uphill but it was mostly down. When I hike really fast while talking to other hikers I almost never take pictures. I arrived at the Fontana Dam Shelter at 12:30 and set up my camp inside. This shelter is called the Hilton because it also has a bathhouse with real toilets, plumbing, running water, and power outlets to charge phones. This is the most luxurious shelter on trail. It is very cool, but myself and probably most other people are happy it is the only fancy one. It takes away the rustic part of camping.

At the shelter I called some friends and family and talked to other hikers all day. I have to laugh at what the situation must look like to a random person who could walk up to the shelter. I think we all look like a bunch of sketchy homeless people who have nothing to do but lounge around all day.

At the shelter Woodstock showed up without Tsuke. I was so shocked. Apparently Woodstock hitched a ride from the NOC to Fontana Dam and left Tsuke behind with some love interest he had at the NOC. He said that Tsuke is pink blazing which means that a guy adjusts his hiking schedule to hike with a girl they have an interest in. Tsuke also has their shared tent so Woodstock has no other option than to stay in the shelter tonight. Personally I think he is kind of jealous of Tsuke’s new trail running shoes he got at the NOC. Originally Tsuke was going to hike the whole trail in converse but his feet were getting so torn up. I’m glad he was able to get a new pair and I’m impressed he made it as far as he did in a pair of converse!

An interesting person I met at the shelter was named PONGO. He has already done a thru hike of the trail but he came out this year to do trail magic and a small section. He played the ukulele for everyone which I loved and also are the grossest thing I’ve seen someone eating out here. It was a significant amount of olive oil with a Knorr rice side, ramen, mashed potatoes, and Fritos on top to add crunch. This isn’t much different from a traditional “ramen bomb” that a lot of hikers eat but I was so grossed out with how it looked so I had to get a picture.

If you were wondering what a ramen bomb is, it is a ramen packet mixed with instant mashed potatoes and a choice of meat added on top, most hikers just eat it for the massive amount of calories.

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