We awoke slightly damp but ready to finish our backpacking trip. The rain was gone, it wasn’t too hot, and we were getting real food tonight! The weather was absolutely gorgeous this morning. We spent the first four miles on a rather level path up above the clouds which were filling the valleys below. We hadn’t seen a lot of wildlife on the hike but saw a few small animals this day; a centipede and a crawdad. Then we arrived at Yellow Creek Gap where we would be linking up with two of our cars so we could slackpack the last twelve miles to Fontana Dam. We stopped at the gapped. Emptied the packs of their non-essential items, had lunch and waited for about an hour. Once we got moving again we had a slight climb out of the gap and when we crested the top we got our first view of Fontana Dam off in the distance. We found out just how far as we walked four miles down the hill to the Dam. We arrived at the Marina where we took a break. Emotionally we felt done because we were “at the dam”. We still had another four miles to go. We had to walk to the end of the dam and then back. It was hard for some of the Scouts who had felt they were done to keep going but they did. We pushed through to the end of the dam and arrived at the NC/TN border then turned around and walked the two miles back to the cars.
We got done early enough that instead of camping out for t
he evening and heading home in the morning. We loaded up the cars and headed home after a quick stop at McDonalds. We rolled in about midnight and hobbled to our own cars and headed home. It was a great trip and we are looking forward to more backpacking.