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[at-l] Home again

This is Slim of Bogey and Slim.  We just got back from two weeks down south
hiking from Wesser to Hot Springs.  We have only 525.6 miles to go to
complete the AT.  We had the best weather, it only rained at night.  The
Smokies weren't so bad, the trails were well graded.  The views from
Clngman's Dome and Rocky Top were great.  No bears, boars or skunks.  Saw
three snakes, two turtles and a bobcat.  We heard that the Nantahala
section was pretty tough but it was not as bad as expected.  The highlight
of the trip was Max Patch on a clear, beautiful day.  We slept in shelters
all through the Smokies as required and it was made nice by the folks with
whom we bunked.  Bogey had a mouse sniffing at his lips, could feel the
whiskers.  The only problem we encountered was a youth group of eight who
came five miles to sleep in Mt. Collins Shelter on the 13th which put us
hikers out in the woods in predicted thunderstorms, heavy rain, hail and
60-65 mph winds. There was a big discussion when two older folks came.  The
man was upset that he and his wife were put out the night before by folks
who did not have reservations and he was not going to hike farther this
night.  The group decided to leave.  The sleet and freezing temps came but
the high winds and thunder passed by.  The rangers need to make it more
clear to the people that  reservations are required, not just
self-registering at a trailhead.  Anyhow, we had a wonderful time and met
lots of thru-hikers still coming through.  
The  *Hoch's (Jeff and Nancy) at the Fontana Motel* were a big help
shuttling us to the trailhead. They picked up other hikers and drove them
to shops and restaurants and did their laundry.  The rooms are cozy and
warm and had kitchen facilities and some have a bathtub, others showers. 
It was like being home.  Their phone # 704-479-3677.  What a respite from
the rigors of the trail.   
Going to hike the Whites in July if the snow and ice melt by then. 

P.S.  The AT bypasses Charlie's Bunion now.  The fog was so thick the
morning of the 15th that we could see only ten feet ahead there.  Just as
well, I probably would have bobbled off the edge. 
Happy Hiking and God Bless,  
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