Caleb’s work decided to be nice and offer him some holiday hours. The deal: work for 30 hours and get the next 2.5 days off. He had someone cover his hours so we could take a unrushed holiday snow-hunting vacation. We woke up late and then stopped by our friend’s house to empty his cat poo. There was a lot. This would be a telling sign of the rest of our day. We take to the back-roads of Georgia and are able to pet a calf with a long tongue, see long cotton bails, and some old cars.
One road led to another and soon we were stuck in traffic. Caleb wanted to drive to the Great Smoky Mountains and I didn’t feel like being in the car all day – he drove. At 7:00pm he was almost ready to call it a day. A stop to a gas station for fuel, us and the car, and he was ready to finish the long drive. We arrive at Elkmont Campgrounds to find it closed for the season. I was ready to throw our tent out and lay down. Instead we drive the hour across the park on dark, winding roads to find a place to sleep at Cades Cove.
It is 11:00pm by the time I am in my sleeping bag awaiting the Sandman; I toss and turn. I feel cold. I feel cramped. I’m not sleeping. It’s 3:00am. I’m getting up. I will wait in the car for the others. The dogs trample Caleb’s kidneys until he decides to wake up too. It feels much colder now then it did at set-up. We will throw the gear in the trunk and get ready for what the next day brings.