Can I say “Slack Pack?” Who ever came up with this idea was a genius! When we arrived at Creekside Paradise, Natalya, aka Blue had booked two nights. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so I decided we should stay both nights. With two creeks flowing through the property, a jacuzzi that is beckoning us to soak in, a gourmet breakfast included, I felt I would just suffer through it. It truly is, a place I could stay for the rest of my time on trail.
Today we slack packed. Jeff and Cynthia who own this delightful place suggested we hike to Fontana Dam today. Without our packs on! Just a daypack that has some snacks, a rain jacket and a water pump. Nothing else required. I was so light on my feet and Natalya nearly fell over. Without her heavy pack, she flew down the trail.
We had a little rain for maybe an hour or so. It was just enough to make the earth come alive with earthen smells. The trees swayed, the leaves were glistening, and once again, the birds were singing ever so happily. We met a couple who were hiking called “Double D.” Their names are Derek and Dee. Derek had this app on his phone that when you take a picture of a plant or animal, it identifies it. I learned so much about the flowers that I have been seeing for the past couple of weeks. The May Apple actually has a flower that blooms under its leaves. Trillium, which is a three leafed wonder has flowers in all colors. Some yellow, white, pink and red. There were more spring flowers that were in bloom today than any other day on the trail. With the birds chirping, singing and whistling, it was as if I was walking through the Amazon Jungle.
We arrived at Fontana Marina and wanted to check out the Fontana Village. The Village, as I was told, has an Ice Cream shop and General Store. We were able to get a ride and when we arrived, it was a ghost town. The only thing that was open was the Pit Stop. A Gas Station and Convenient Store combined. We went in and as we were about to purchase our Elk Jerky and Soda Water, the power shuts down. Oh-no. The kid behind the counter asked if we had cash, which thankfully we did, and pulled out a piece of paper and tallied us up. Thank goodness for old fashion math and being able to improvise.
We went outside and sat on a picnic table when this truck pulls up with a huge ski boat. I’m thinking this is not gonna be his best day as there’s no way to pump gas. He sits down with us and we start talking about what we are doing. We tell a bit about the trail, hiking and all that. Then Robby shares with us how the Lord has blessed him with this non-profit business. He supports Military and First Responders by offering them opportunities to spend a week on the lake. He travels all over US and brings men and women together by meeting them right where they are. This camaraderie that military and first responders tend to have, is what allows these experiences to feel so organic. We rode back to Fontana Marina with Robby and he presented me with a Challenge Coin. I was so moved and promised to bring it with me to Mt Katahdin. Another God moment in the making.
When Blue and I left today, Jeff said it would take us a couple of hours to get to the Dam. I explained that we dilly dally along the way, talking to as many people as we can and it would be a full day trip. After seven hours, he picked us up at the Visitor Center. I had no idea what the Lord had planned for us today, but he sure did. We met new friends, saw some familiar faces and had a most wonderful day. When I stop to smell the roses, Jesus has many more chance appointments that come my way. I just need to be open and willing to feel his direction. Then I can truly live the life that he has destined for me.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 NIV
4 thoughts on “Day 17: May 1, 2022 Yellow Gap to Fontana Dam Elevation Profile +1501/-2703 8 Miles; Total 166.3 Miles”
HI Kelly: You’ve turned into quite the writer over the past few years. Your daily journal updates are well written, interesting, humorous and full of factoids. I hope you are thinking of turning your journal reports into a book. I’m sure it would be well received and, the best part, you will have already written about 98% of it by the time you complete your journey. Keep on Trekking!!!
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You are amazing my dear friend. I love reading your words and listening to your story.
I do want that app about the plants!
Love you Kelly and we will see you in a couple days 🤗
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This is my favorite so far❤️
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Beautiful! In so many ways!🥰🙏🙏🥰