11-13-09 day 164
start: Blood Mountain Shelter, GA
end: Gooch Mountain Shelter, GA
daily mileage: 13.2
total mileage: 2163.2
We awoke to find our gear pretty saturated with dew (as expected), though somehow Sea Monster's sleeping bag still seemed dry. All five of us got moving at about the same time, though LB, Fiddler, and Tin Man are going 20 miles so they only have to go 8 tomorrow. Our dads won't arrive until later in the day, so there's no reason for us to match them - we're just doing 13.
We all met up at the shelter 13 miles down the trail, us to stay there and everyone else to eat lunch. It was really nice to get in nice and early on the second to last day - gives us plenty of time to relax and enjoy the last of this nature experience. We said our goodbyes to each of them after lunch, as we probably won't see them again. So weird! We did hope that No Money would show up that night though (we'd heard he was summiting on tomorrow as well, and probably wouldn't want to go much more than the 15 that we were planning) but he ended up camping a few miles north. We ended up meeting up with him the next day, fortunately, but it was just Sea Monster and yours truly on our last night of the A.T. There was an enormous amount of nice, dry, dead wood all over (including several 2x4s and other pieces of scrapwood from who knows what), and we constructed a HUGE bonfire. There was a teepee inside a log cabin inside a teepee inside a log cabin. It was awesome, though we couldn't really sit by it because it was so scalding hot.
There was a lot of discussion about lasts. It was the last time we ate dinner on the trail, the last time we had a campfire, the last time we looked at the stars on the trail, the last time we fell asleep in our sleeping bags, even the last time we used our headlamps. It really is crazy.