Let’s begin and end with WE SURVIVED – and that is all that really matters!
A few high/low lights:
1. Arriving at the site at 3:40am and 4 people sleeping in the McPherson Minivan.
2. Waking at 6:30am to start a fun day of hiking and joking
3. 7am encountering our first ascent - many of us claimed this as our first and most difficult mountain to be refuted by Jon who kindly said – that was just a hill. I still say it was a mini-mountain that took my breath away!
4. Our first river crossing – fun, exciting and relaxing.
5. The Whiner in Ashley attempts to make an appearance – but is suppressed by Jon lovingly saying – Happy Anniversary.
6. Our second river crossing and fist time to refill water. After filtering a little we just decided to go ahead a drink the river water without wasting time filtering - don’t worry none of us got sick from that!
7. At 1:30 realizing we had been hiking for 7 hours with at least 3 more to go – that is when not finishing starting sounding good to Ashley
8. 3pm our first Mountain – meeting up with another group and discussing the feat in front of us. While climbing Mt. Everest (or Bushey Mountain elevation not much) Ashley being taunted by people from the other groups about how much better shape they were in than her.
9. The best anniversary present ever – 2/3 the way up the climb Jon taking my pack and carrying them both up the mountain!!! Gotta love a husband who really wants to make sure his wife still loves him at the end of The Adventure of a Lifetime – since by this time I had pointed out how ridiculous it was that he let me talk him into even considering I could do it!!
10. Being beat by the high schooler that the other group sent ahead to claim the site at the top of the mountain and realizing we have to climb down the mountain also – but it ended up being better that way since we got to play in the water!!! Sleep was not the best but at least we got a few hours of not hiking.
11. MRE’s – Ashley’s wasn’t too bad – but can you really screw up Mac and Cheese?? Jon and John’s chicken and steak not so appetizing.
12. Our friend getting dehydrated and really sick then hurting his knees – all bad when carrying a 50 pound pack in the woods.
13. Waking up to another mountain ascent and decent and then (Hallelujah course in the background) – A SERVICE ROAD!! Only 5 miles until the car and no more hiking in the Amazon with ticks, rocks, creeks and feet that don’t want to move.
14. On The Border 1 hour after a shower and leaving the Ouchita Mountains after not completing the full 26.8 mile hike – but hey give us some credit we did hike 13 miles!!
Pictures are on our friends camera - once they send them to us we will post some!