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Bald Eagle

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  • Dave Womble
    I just got back from a backpacking trip of the Lakeshore Trail in the Smokies. On the second day we were admiring the view from a cove on the lake while the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2006
      I just got back from a backpacking trip of the Lakeshore Trail in the
      Smokies. On the second day we were admiring the view from a cove on
      the lake while the wind was consistainly about 20 mph where we were
      standing. My buddy spotted a bald eagle trying to fly into the wind
      over a mountain peak. The eagle was almost stationary in the air for a
      while before he seemed to give up against the strong headwind and just
      turned and headed somewhere downwind. He was pretty high in the sky
      but it was neat to see him. There are some bald eagles that live
      around Fontana Lake.

      My buddy was interested in the Lakeshore Trail because it is the
      subject of a possible road connecting Bryson City and Fontana Dam (in
      NC). If the road is built it will for the most part be where that
      trail is. There were a number of former homesteads and such along the
      trail from the early 1940's when the TVA and National Park
      Service 'acquired' that land. There were about 13 small cemetaries
      along the way that the Park Service provides once a year access (other
      than hiking in) for family. Many of the cemetaries were moved to
      higher ground before the flooded the land for the dam and access wasn't
      provided for many decades.

      Oh yeah, we slept in the Fontana Hilton at the dam one night and hung
      in hammocks at primitive campsites the other two nights. The Fontana
      Hilton is probably the nicest shelter on the Appalachian Trail. There
      are heated restrooms with running water within 100 yards, both a Mens
      and Womans with two private stalls in the Mens room. There are public
      showers as well as nice restrooms at the dam which is about a quarter
      mile away. The forecast before we left was for a low temperature in
      the mid thirties but it got down to 25F on our last night. We were at
      a low elevation for the area, right by a beautiful river near the lake
      and there was no wind. I suspect there was a temperature inversion and
      we where were the cold air settled. We were lucky in that we didn't
      get fogged in or even condensation issues from high humidity and we
      also had sufficient insulation so it was a 'mild' 25F. I woke up at 2
      am and noticed my feet where cool so I went to the trouble of adding
      plastic bags between my liner socks and fleece socks. That did the
      trick and my feet were comfortably warm a few minutes later.

      Dave
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