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Today I hiked mostly with MP. My original plan was to hike to Cody gap but once I got there I decided to push on to Cable Gap Shelter. On the way there we hit a steep climb that's referred to as "Jacob's Ladder". Overall it was a great day. The sun was out all day and everything is starting to look green and alive again. There's a whole handful of people here tonight so I built a fire as usual and we all spent the night together.
I left camp early this morning around 7:30AM and arrived at Fontana around 10:30AM. I'm staying here tonight because there's no way I could make it all the way to the next shelter in the Smokies. And with the Smokies we need to stay in a shelter. My right inner ankle is hurting a lot like it did before. I hiked again today with MP and later met up with Smiles and Salamander. Fontana shelter (aka "The Hilton") is incredible! It sits right above a large reservoir, has a fire pit, and sleeps what looks like 16 or so people. The best part though is that there are showers and bathrooms just a short walk down the road! I took advantage of that and had myself a hot shower once I'd settled in.
After I cleaned up I hitched to Fontana Village where I had some mail drops waiting for me. Mom, Cameron, and Ashley sent me really nice packages with thoughtful notes written in them. Cam has been sending me food, bars, and miscellaneous items I'd purchased before starting the hike. Ashley sent me some really cool snacks and what I referred to as "fancy" ramen. My mom sent me a big container of Congo Bars and some other goodies.
Tomorrow is Smile's birthday so we had a celebration for her tonight at the shelter. We got her some wine and I passed out the Congo Bars to everyone and also made s'mores for everyone and passed those around too. This may be my favorite night so far. Tomorrow should be another 11 miles up into the Smokies.