Aerial shot of the massive explosion site in the northern part of the parish. That controlled explosion helped the mountainside move down and then get hauled off the road, which itself was destroyed. There had been a smaller rock slide which had destabilized the mountainside. The explosion quickened the work by three full months, which is a real help to the economy this coming Spring. The road (Highway 28) was just opened to Fontana Dam and the Dragon’s Tail just the other day.
An Appalachian Trail hiker at Mass in Robbinsville let me know. We get hikers at Mass once in a while. I assume he’s moving South to North at this time of year. I asked him about a certain landmark on the road above. Apparently, he went an entire day’s walk past the rental cottage he would get for a couple of days to take a break and regroup, that is, to a place where once again the trail would cross a viable road quite far from his rental, on the far side of the rock-slide on the far side of the mountain. He didn’t look to be any worse for the wear since he started. His flimsy tennis shoes seemed to be utterly unfit for the trek of thousands of miles across twelve states. He’ll find out. An interesting fellow. Nice guy.
If you plan to hike the trail, read everything you can about preparations before you start! Do practice walks up mountains trying out footwear that won’t cripple you or give you blisters on your heels, the bottoms of your feet or toes after just a few hours. When I lived on the Via Francigena in Montefiascone, we would get hikers with bloodied feet hardly able to walk.