Camping at Fontana Lake - Jerry Hollow - 5/27/06

Our second trip to Fontana Lake, one week after the first trip. For this trip we rented a Canoe in Atlanta and then used it to paddle to an island on the lake that was equipped with a campsite. The Island is called Jerry Hollow on the map and is campsite #87. There are actually 2 campsites on the island. The main site is the more "official" site. That site was already taken, however, so we took the more primitive second site on the other side of the island. As I said, we learned a lot on our maiden trip a week earlier, so we made a few adjustments for this trip. The biggest change was that we packed lighter, although ironically it didn't matter as much for this trip since the majority of it was done in the canoe. Still, extra weight means a slower canoe so losing some needless weight had its benefits on this trip. We lightened our load up in several ways. First, we dropped some duplicated items. For example, instead of bringing 3 flashlights we brought 1. We also left some of our cooking gear at home as we had found that the Jet-Boil could pretty much do everything we needed. We left our packstools at home too, since these seemingly useful items didn't really get used at all on our first trip. The biggest weight drop, however, was due to our changing of tents. The REI base camp 4 that we had brought on the last trip weighed 18 pounds! For this trip we brought the REI Half Dome 4, which still sleeps 4 people but weighs in at only 8 pounds. Quite a difference! When it was all over with, we ended up reducing our 40 pound packs to 32 pounds instead, which makes a world of difference. It didn't rain on this outing, which made the entire trip a lot more fun overall. We had a blast. The neatest part of the this trip, for me at least, occured at about 3am that night. I'll explain: All day long, you can hear the waves hitting the shoreline, motorboats zooming by every now and then, motorcycles navigating the tight turns of the mountain roads across the lake and all sorts of bird and other natural sounds. At around 3am that night, I woke up for a moment. All of the daytime sounds were now gone and the lake was completely still. Even the crickets had stopped chipring and there was TOTAL AND ABSOLUTE SILENCE. Seriously, you could've heard a pin drop. It was one of the neatest things I've ever experienced and definately one of the more prominent memories I will have of these camping adventures. Anyway, here are the pics...

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Closeup of the map showing the section of Fontana Lake that we paddled to get to campsite #87, which is called Jerry Hollow.
Here's the view from the shore of the island that we canoed to.
Our tent is ready to go. We put the rainfly on as a precaution, but it turned out to be unnecessary.
The view from our tent.
Eric cleans out his shoes after walking around in the water for a bit. The shoreline is very rocky here, so running around barefoot is pretty much out of the question.
Josiah tests the waters with his new floatsuit. The water was still a little too cold for Eric and Dani.
Dani looking beautiful, even with her sunburned knees!
Eric builds a fire and Josiah shows off his new pocket knife!
I took this picture at about 7am, while there was still a nice fog hanging over the lake and surrounding mountains. They don't call them the Smoky Mountains for nothing.

On our way back, we stopped in Franklin for dinner. Thought we'd take a shot of the Murano with the Canoe on top/

We ate at the Frog and Owl Mountain Bistro. The service was slow, but the food was surprisingly delicious! I reccomend the trout.

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