We’re taking a “near-o” day in Fontana Dam, NC, home of the largest dam east of the Mississippi. Tonight’s shelter, adjacent to the dam itself, is known affectionately as the “Fontana Hilton” and features showers/flush toilets! I know, right! Also, due to a wonderful scheduling coincidence, a Mini Cooper convention is happening on the premises. Nothing like walking out of the woods and seeing a caravan of Austin Powers wannabe’s.

"The Fontana Hilton"

“The Fontana Hilton”

The view from the Fontana Dam gift shop.

The view from the Fontana Dam gift shop.

Weathered a pretty intense storm last night–lots of falling branches and rolling thunder. Our hearts go out to everyone in Huntsville and the rest of the Southeast who didn’t fare as well as we did.

Tomorrow morning we’ll enter Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Anticipate a more extensive blog update with pictures (and possibly video) from Gatlinburg in four days. Sixteen days down, and missing everyone very much.

Zack (and Lara)