Click here to go to the beginning of this series and read the story from the start in chronological order. :)
Finally to round off this Mt. LeConte series, here's a shot of 3 of us (Me, Lan, and Matt) at Newfound Gap halfway down 441 at the state line between NC and TN. (Our fourth guy, David, had taken off the night before to go back to Alabama since he wasn't going back to Georgia with the three of us.)
Funny story... It was 14 degrees in this photo and a girl gets out of a truck next to us wearing a tank top, thin pants, and flip flops to take pictures of her so running around. It was incredible, lol... My friend Matt took a picture of her and then went up to her to tell her just how amazed that she was out in this weather wearing that clothing. haha :)
The drive back was pretty nice. We had picked up some deicing windshield fluid in a gas station along the way (there wasn't any available in Georgia in all the places I'd looked since the snow had come down there as well... in fact, it was funny to see Atlanta on the news when we were out in the boonies and the people were showing the little snow they had while we were out sloshing in the snow and throwing snowballs...)
Everyone wound up okay at the end of the trip and I was very happy. We all had our share of bumps and bruises though. Matt had fallen off the bridge into the river as mentioned previously, David was having a hard time on the hike up due to being a smoker, Lan was cold sleeping at night and his stove didn't work, and none of my handwarmers I'd brought worked so my toes were frozen the whole time. (In fact as I write this a month later, my toes still haven't fully recovered. They're no longer numb, but they feel oddly tender and tingly in the center of them still. I didn't get frostbite, but I'm not sure what I got. Wool socks and waterproof boots aren't enough. Insulated boots would be helpful, as would be the toewarmers if they had worked...) I had also fallen flat on my face going fast downhill once or twice after slipping down a section of the trail. I had been telling myself I didn't want to do that and sure enough I did it. haha... luckily I was okay. Just a little bump on my knee as it hit a rock under the snow on the way down, but no biggie. I also remember hoping I didn't hit my eye on any branches which was another one of the reasons I liked wearing goggles, but I had one branch whip back and hit me in the face near my eye. I was glad it missed. David and Lan both got blisters on the backs of their heels from their crampons. So yeah, we all had our share of "stuff" happen, but we were all okay and were very fortunate. All part of the experience!!
So yeah, that's that. Thank you for reading!!