We slept great; the parents didn't fare so well. Too much excitement? Not enough mileage?
Jose arrived while we were eating breakfast and we got to witness the excitement of the Monty Jose bromance. Again, great to see him. Since they will probably be a lot faster than us, this is probably the last chance we would see them for a while.
We grabbed water and braced ourselves for the climb up towards the highlands. Overall, we would have to go up around 2500 feet that was split into two smaller sections. We were hoping to get it all done today over ten miles, but Mary was still insisting we would be able to get a fifteen or twenty mile day in. A couple miles down the road, Mary wiped out. Full face plant. It was funny only because nothing serious happened, but she went down at one hundred miles an hour while leading the group. Being the tough woman that she is, she looked for serious injuries, finding none, bounced up and just asked someone else to lead.
We grabbed lunch at Lost Mountain Shelter where Jose and Monty were also finishing up. They pushed for a game of cribbage, but everyone was feeling anxious to move on, especially the parents who constantly were worried that they were slowing us down. They were, but we expected that and the point of the visit wasn't to make ninety miles, it was to hang out with them. Another discovery during lunch, though, was that Tyler's kindle had some dead pixels in rows and columns across the screen. A little while later half the screen went black and it stopped functioning. It especially sucks since that is where thhr AT guides were. We still have guthooks on the cell phone though.
The day was a bit hectic and filled with scorching sun. We walked by one south bounder who said we were in for some trail magic up the trail (if the up ever ended). After the group repeatedly splitting up with Tyler hiking off to get out some energy, Mary and Bruce hiking off to not slow us down, we finally all met up together again at the beautiful Buzzards Rock, still no trail magic though. Soon after, we found a raging spring (strange phrasing, but this spring seemed to contain a river), so we stocked up on water for the night.
We set up camp just across a dirt road near a small spring. It was a great spot with widely spaced trees, a spring, and led to a wonderful sunset on the ridge. Emily scrapped together a magnificent fire in no time as Tyler made pasta, sundried tomatoes, olive oil and cheese. Bruce and Mary had some Mountain House chicken and rice, which, after our initial tragic experience with those meals, was quite good. We tried to get some games going or hang by the fire, but the parents were wiped out and headed to bed at the ripe ol' hour of 8:30.