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3/27/21 Wow I’ve been on the trail for 3 weeks. Seems longer I don’t know if that is good or bad. Yesterday was a zero day. Beautiful sunny warm day so I did laundry. Got supplies ready. Property at Fontana Dam Resort beautiful. Lots of thru hikers staying there. Today Michele drove her from the condo she has rented. Great to see her as it’s been a long time. Piper had a shower yesterday. Michele assisted me in labeling a few items trying to get organized. Got out of the cabin by noon had lunch at the resort and they let Piper come in. Michele gave her some of her burger. Started raining and severe thunderstorm advisory. Decided to start back on the trail despite weather although rain had stopped. If I didn’t get back on the trail would have to drive 90 minutes to condo tomorrow to start hiking. So hiked to the Birch Spring Gap campsite. 4.8 miles from where Michele dropped me off. Left Piper with Michele which was hard. Hiked alone and felt somewhat sad not having Piper at my side. Hike was quick up 1,874 feet with some drizzle then started raining as I put up the tent. No one on the trail and at the campsite only one tent with what appeared to a father/son combo. Rain stopped some thunder in the distance. Usual freeze dried meal. Hung food and smellable items on the provided bear cable. Tomorrow plan to put in some miles. Didn’t go to shelter today too late of a start and bad weather I suspect shelter crowded as it is the first one in the Smokies. Tomorrow stay at a shelter and maybe able to avoid crowds. Spoke to Barb from NH yesterday and she may drive south in a few weeks and hike with us that would be great