Cheers to New Friends

If you were to ask me a week before Spring Break about what I was going to be doing, I would have not been able to give you an answer. Leading up to last week I had multiple plans for trips that would have taken me to Los Angeles and San Fransisco. However, due to expenses I was not able to make it work. I was determined to make something happen and had no sense of direction as to what I was going to do. Early in the week I contacted Skyler Wagoner (@skylerwagoner) about possibly wanting to take a small trip. I had met Skyler through Instagram because of common interests in shooting photos. We had talked from time to time but had never officially met and seeing as he travels often through the midwest I knew he was the perfect candidate for a small spontaneous trip and after talking briefly he was down for it. He brought along a friend who was also down to make the trip and that was Zachery Archer (@zacheryarcher).

On Thursday morning they came down from Indianapolis and met me for the drive where our first stop was to be Cloudland Canyon in Georgia. The six hour drive flew by as we got caught up talking about photography, music and everything else. We were able to catch the end of sunset, small night hikes in the Canyon and managed to find some waterfalls. With no one tired, we made the decision to drive to Gatlinburg, Tennessee where we grabbed a cheap hotel near the Smoky Mountains. Arriving very late at night we quickly turned in so we could start the next day at a decent time.

After a solid breakfast with compliments to Quality Inn, we made our way into the Smokies where heavy fog greeted us. Driving around finding overlooks and scenic views consumed the day and later we met up with Zackary Mason (@zackary.mason) in Cades Cove. We piled into the Jeep and made the drive through the cove, while the views weren't too solid because of lighting we still weren't slowing down. Sunset was rolling around and the decision had been made to make it to Max Patch in North Carolina. The two hour drive was well worth it as we were faced with one of the best sunsets I've personally ever seen. The cold and windy evening was spent at the top of a 360 degree mountain top with a good group of people. 

With Max Patch completed we had one more location on the list. The four hour drive was to be completed to New River Gorge. As we drove into the night, we decided to call it for a nights rest in Wycheville, Virginia. Cramming into a small hotel room, we made the best of what we had (which actually was more than enough). After a good nights rest along with using every outlet in the room to charge batteries, we hit the road once again. Our goal was to spend the day in New River Gorge hoping to find enough to do so that we could spend sunset near one of the biggest bridges that I've seen. We were in luck, with plenty to do we were able to make a solid day around the area up until sunset along with making some new rock climbing friends that happen to be on the same trail as us.

As the night came upon us, we were faced with a decision to make the long drive home. As we all agreed that we had accomplished everything we set out to do so this was a good idea. There was no official plans for this trip except a few spots scattered throughout the midwest that we planned to hit and since we checked all the boxes, it only felt right for the trip to come to a close. Driving through the night we managed to make it all the way back to Morehead, Kentucky where we parted ways with Zack and then finished the drive to Northern Kentucky where the rest of us said our goodbyes. Like I said, this week was full of unexpected plans but it ended in the best way possible. I had no idea what was ahead of me for this trip which made it all the better. Planned trips are always amazing but there is something about the unknown thats more exciting. Cheers to new friends and new experiences, til next time boys!