Fantana Dam to Newfound Gap – Chapter 5

I walk from Fontana Dam to Newfound Gap on the Appalachian Trail  where I will hitch-hike into Gatlinburg, shower, eat, sleep, and return.

I walk over the Fontana Dam.

I enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and begin a 2700 foot climb.

I reach a boulder jumble, a throne shaped rock.

This is the Russel Field Shelter. Hikers are required to stay in shelters because of bears. I read Chapter 5 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell:

“The Tao doesn’t take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.”

“The Master doesn’t take sides;”

“She welcomes both saints and sinners.”

I approach Rocky Top.

“The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.”

“The more you use it, the more it produces;”

“The more you talk of it, the less you understand.”

“Hold on to the center.”

Sunset at Silers Bald Shelter.


A guy from Florida who had moved to Tennessee.

The next day, I walk to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smokies.

The observation tower is closed for repairs – elevation 6867 feet.



Magical forest

Magical forest



No talk

I reach Newfound Gap. I have walked 206.8 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia.

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