Cambyr and I woke up around 2:15 as planned and managed to quickly and efficiently pack up in time to enjoy the full moon cuddled together waiting for the crew. It was so amazingly bright and confirmed my change of plans as I looked around the area in awe. I was so glad we changed our plans to do this, what a unique experience to expose Cambyr to. Within a few minutes of relaxing together, just after 3am, we saw headlights in the distance. We heard the chatty voices of our friends and excitedly got up in anticipation of their arrival.
Our drop dead time for waiting for them was 3:30 AM and they arrived at Bradly Gap at precisely 3:13. It was great and they were all full of energy in spite of the lack of sleep they got. Brad didn’t sleep at all and most of the others got only a few hours of sleep. Of course I was also lacking some sleep due to some pretty uncomfortable lumps under me all night and a goose that kept coming back to honk at us periodically (evidently we were on his turf!) Courtney and Cambyr led the hike and we all shared in the laughter and comraderie of sharing this moment. We soon passed the tents of Dremel, Littlefoot , and cheese doodle and made it to the top of the hill for a snack break. We ate, joked and rested for a bit realizing if we didn’t take our time we would probably arrive at breakfast around 6am.
We stopped once more before the major descent and just really enjoyed the Stars and the last open field before entering town to eat a hearty hostel breakfast. We saw lights in the distance near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina that ended up being the Hawaiian couple we met earlier. It felt really good to have finished another state… Georgia and North Carolina are behind us now… On to Tennessee.
We arrived at the hostel by 7:30 AM which felt great knowing we didn’t cut it close and they didn’t have to worry about us not showing.