By Bryan Wish
Rise and shine. 7 A.M. never felt so good. The team woke up with a pep in their step as they knew the day ahead of them was light in compared to what they endured the past two days. Marshall led the morning charge cooking eggs, cheese grits, and chunky bacon. Breakfast was devoured and everyone headed back to the tents to clean up the campsite.
The weather started warming up, and for what felt like the first-time, smiles started cracking through everyone’s faces. Today’s journey was a 3.5 mile hike from Gooch Gap to Woody Gap, a test with some uphill and downhill terrain, but most importantly, very pretty outlooks that sought to inspire.
Spencer did his usual, took Carden first for about fifteen minutes. The camaraderie was high from the start as the team was cheering him on from the back. Marshall took Carden next for about half a mile. Then Virginia, Carden’s sister, did a great job bearing the load as she was fighting through a cold.
Not before long, we were almost two miles into the hike and we found the perfect lunch spot. It was absolutely beautiful.
After lunch, Harbor Hall, the owner of Venture Crossfit based in Midtown took Carden through a crazy uphill stretch of the journey. It was nice to finally have someone so fit on the trip and we were all very happy to have him because he supplied an abundance of gummy worms (aka, the best trail food you could imagine).
While Carden was being carried, Dusty was recording with his GoPro capturing some absolutely amazing footage.
Last, but not least, Bryan Wish who had joined the team the night before took Carden on his back for a big charge hiking a big downhill and uphill. By the time Bryan was done carrying Carden, there was only .3/10 of a mile left, and Spencer carried Carden to the Day 3 finish line.
Here is how we finished our day on the trail ☺
After we took this picture, we took the three cars we had on hand and drove 45 minutes to C.K. and Susan’s Walls amazing house right near Mount Yonah. This was our only day not camping, so everyone was relieved for their short 5 star retreat.
At the house, the team caught showers for the first time in three days. Everyone passed out on anything they could find. Spencer found the hanging bed that Sarah’s Dad built. Carden and Virginia found two comfy beds. Bryan found a swinging hammock and Marshall spent some time resting in his dedicated room at the Walls’ house.
About two hours later, it was almost 6 P.M. and we were waiting on Sarah’s parents’ famous spaghetti. While waiting, Spencer and Dusty made a fire and Marshall took the team around on a golf cart on the airstrip where mini airplanes fly in and out.
After dinner, it was time to recap the first two days. Bryan Wish began interviewing everyone asking in-depth questions about their experiences, trying to soak up every important detail for our amazing audience and followers to learn about. It was so cool to see the passion in people’s eyes and voices talking about their experience.
Sarah’s mom chimed in during one interview with Carden and said, “Carden, what were you thinking?”
Carden replied, “I was a bit nervous of course. When people slipped a little, I was afraid they were going to buckle … but I had this quiet confidence that everything would be fine.”
When Marshall was asked about the first three days, he replied, “it’s been absolutely amazing. I knew this was going to be great, but I didn’t realize how powerful and transforming of an effect this adventure would have on me.” … Pretty strong words for someone who leads a life of adventure.
Immediately after, Bryan headed to the table to begin typing away the recaps of the past 3 days. The team headed to sleep and their dreams began to shift to the challenge of the next day: Summiting Blood Mountain
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