I must revise my opinion of the North Carolina portion of the trail. Two words: it hard. Georgia was tough but had manageable climbs and descents. Mostly they were short and to the point.
NC is all about the pointless never ending climb where your nose is practically parallel to the ground and interminable descents that destroy your knees.
Also for some reason they are hell bent on not maintaining the trail itself. At one point I was “walking” on the “trail” that was less than a foot wide and you could look straight down and see the bottom of the mountain.
Oh but then we got to Fontana Dam, which is the southern gate of the Smokies. It was built during WWII To aid in energy supply and is the tallest dam east of the Mississippi. The trail runs right over it.
But before I got to the dam there was a marina shop full of ice cold beverages and the most delicious microwaved burger I’ve ever had. Well it’s the only one actually. But still it was a taste treat.
We spent the night at Fontana Dam. I pitched my tent on a slant and ended up sliding down onto the tent pole which collapsed the tent onto me. I was not as they say “a happy camper” in the morning.
I got over my upset after a quick dose of coffee and the realization that the Smokies were coming up. Also the flushing toilets were nice too.