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Night Hike 2015

On Friday night Michael and I and met Mom, Greg, Emily and Zac, Kevin and Michael (from Em and Zac's church) at Mellow Mushroom in Pigeon Forge. We were in route to Mt. LeConte for our Vaughn family "Night Hike" and stopped to get some pizza to "fuel up."

After eating we changed into our hiking gear and drove up to Alum Cave. We were pretty pumped. 

We got to the Alum Cave parking lot at 11:30 p.m. We got our gear together while waiting for the rest of our group to get there.

We ended up with a disproportional amount of parking lot pictures.

Laura, Johnny, Megan, Josh, Rex, Caleb, Logan and Tracey pulled in at Midnight.  We all loaded into the vans and drove to the Newfound Gap parking lot.  We took a quick group shot and then we hit the trail.

I think that we got started around 12:20 p.m.  We all traveled pretty close together.  I hiked with Zac, Emily, Michael (mine), Michael (the other one), Kevin, Caleb and Logan.  Caleb spent much of the first portion of the hike letting us know how badly he hated his new hiking boots.

It was around 4:45 a.m. when we saw the sign showing that Myrtle Point was .2 miles away.  Michael and I agree that it felt like a lot more than .2 miles.  It could have been the fact that we were tired, hungry, and freezing.

When we got to the top I received the scare of my life.  As Michael and I were leading, I didn't expect to see anyone else at Myrtle Point.  It was still pretty dark so the two dark figures at the top startled me.

Em and Zac eating their biscuits from Pop-Eyes.  We stopped in Pigeon Forge to pick these up. While we were waiting for the order I struck up a conversation with one of the workers.  He mentioned that he was recently engaged to a former girlfriend who had been living in Saudi Arabia.  I jokingly remarked that it must be hard adjusting to all of our (American) germs.  He said, "yes, that and freedom." How do you respond to that?.

Look how happy he looks to have hiked through the night.  It was freezing on top.  I heard someone say that it was 39 degrees at the lodge so it was probably mid-30s up top. 

Mom, thank you for planning this trip!

This warning seems a bit moot at this point.

After breakfast and a quick nap on the porch, we bought t-shirts and headed back down the mountain. It took us about three hours to get down - due mostly to the sheer number of people hiking up the trail.  I have never seen Alum Cave so busy. 


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