This past weekend I met Will in Fontana Dam, NC, a resort village located at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where North Carolina meets Tennessee. The nearest actual town is Robbinsville, NC, which is a 30-minute drive away from the resort and has a population of just 620.
We stayed at the Fontana Village Resort, which offers a special rate for thru-hikers, and explored nearby Fontana Dam. It is the highest dam east of the Rocky Mountains and has a pretty fascinating history.
The main event on the weekends, of course, is the FOOD! As delicious as Ramen noodles and granola bars may be, Will does look forward to non-trail food every once in a while. We made the journey into Robbinsville on Saturday to see what kind of small-town local fare we could find.
For lunch, we spotted an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet joint and decided to continue our tradition from the previous weekend. As we stepped out of the car we heard shotgun blasts and saw orange discs flying overhead. WHY was there a group of people shooting skeet right beside of the restaurant? We’re not sure, but they didn’t seem to find it odd in the least. If nothing else, it made for some great “all-you-can-skeet” buffet jokes.
Dinner was at the local Mexican restaurant. Having attended my fair share of family reunions and potlucks growing up in the south, I thought I had seen “salads” of every variety – but we spotted a new one here. The following menu item was listed under the Salads section exactly like this: “A bed of french fries topped with ground beef, covered with cheese and pico de gallo.”
Not only does that not qualify as a salad even under southern law (and we make salads out of macaroni, eggs- anything you can mix with mayonnaise), but I’m not even sure that is a legitimate food.
French Fry Salad and all, Fontana Dam/Robbinsville was full of personality and we loved making memories there. I can’t wait to visit the next town along the trail!
Today marks 21 days on the AT and Will is doing an amazing job! We’re updating the Instagram account (@thetreelogs) regularly, so check it out. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has followed along and offered words of support. You make this so much more fun!