Don’t worry. We didn’t go 20 miles. Only 14.8 today. Russell field shelter. Makes me miss my friend Russell and his lady Rachel. Exciting first day back! While crossing Fontana dam a bald eagle circled close over head. I’ve never seen one and I thought Ember was joking when he told me. It was beautiful and so close. I imagined he was actually considering us for breakfast rather than the fish below. THEN ember also walked into two deer. They were very domesticated and let us hang out and take photos. There is a whole new group of people which is exciting and socially overwhelming. We are clean and don’t look like thru hikers and they don’t recognize us. After explaining a handful of times I think we are back in the crew. Nice to see two familiar faces. Blue moon who started at the springer parking lot with us and another guy who Ember and I bet was the most likely to make it from the 45 or so at the first shelter. There are 16 (!!!!) people at the shelter tonight. A lot of people our age. But still crowded and no privy and the hiking is crowded. I guess a little build up from the Fontana dam shelter. A lot of people zero there. Got to go up an old fire tower today. So old and rickety that I was a little concerned once ember two other guys and myself were all in there together. It was not built well to say the least. We scrambled back down in a hurry so no picture. Ember and I found a secret warm spot down a path right in the sun. Block the wind and it feels mighty fine out here today folks!
Begin HikeMarch 1st, 2013On your mark, get set, go!