Last night I discovered that I'd lost my bottle of alcohol for my stove. Thus I waited this morning until 9 am when the store opened. On the positive side, I ate a tasty breakfast burrito for breakfast at the restaurant. About 9:15 am, I got a ride to the trail and set forth for Fontana Dam at the southern end of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The photo shows the forest just east of the dam. The trail gained several thousand feet of elevation on a good trail. I ran into Appalachian Trail Conservancy ranger Carl at the Russell Field shelter who checked my permit. As I gained elevation, Spring largely disappeared. I saw lots of soil turned by wild hogs. I had a great day in spite of the late start. Today's miles - 18.5. Total miles - 183.2.