Day 12

Today is the day!  I finally get to go home for my first zero day (a day where you rest and clean your gear without any hiking!) But, before getting to my wonderful, super awesome husband, I had to hike 11.5 miles out of Brown Fork Shelter to the car!  I started my day at 8:20 and immediately began an undulation.  The trails today were much kinder than yesterday, but I can tell my body is getting tired, probably from the sheer lack of nutrition I’m getting out here.  The sun was shining and the wildflowers were abundant.  I only had one truly brutal climb today that really made me angry, but when I made it to the top of the hill, I was looking straight down into Fontana Lake!  It was such an emotional moment for me to look down and know I was almost home!  After some more undulation and “rock climbing”, I made it to NC-28 at 12:40 and waited for David to show up.  He’d given some hikers a ride to the parking lot.  It was very surreal riding in a car for 2 hours to say the least.  It’s also very weird to be home.  I’m very much looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight and will have a special blog post tomorrow about my first day off in nearly two weeks.  I’ve already hiked 167 miles and I can’t wait for more!  The photo below is me at the gap above Fontana.  The lake is far below, the clouds floating over the water.