Brown Fork Gap Shelter to Mollies Ridge Shelter – 23.7 miles
Forester Gump let’s his air mattress go at 5:30 AM! Ugh, whatever, I might as well get up too. He hits the trail a couple minutes before I do. It’s just after 6 AM. Night hiking! Forester Gump’s headlamp is quickly out of site before I head up the hill from the shelter. I’m surprised I don’t catch up with him for almost four hours. He does hike fast!
Once I catch up, we then hike together to Fontana Dam. He stays there to get a shuttle into town and I keep going. I cross the large dam and enter Great Smoky Mountains National Park about noon. It’s a tough climb from Fontana Dam.
It’s a full shelter tonight. The air has quickly cooled down and some guys build a fire in the ring outside and then move it to the fireplace in the shelter. It’s nice to have a fire.
Tomorrow I’ll be less than 2,000 miles to Katahdin.