August 5 - Cumberland
Today was a total throwback to the Rocky Mountains. We had 8000 feet of climbing over 65 miles! This mean that you would get to a crew stop and wait for sometimes well over an hour!
One thing that is quite different about the Appalachians compared to the Rockies is that when these roads were build switchbacks had yet to be invented. This means that the grades on the hills are really steep. The downhill right after one of my stops was 13%. I hear the steepest of the day was 16%!
Exactly half way through the day we crossed into the last state of the trip Maryland. It's crazy to think that I won't be crossing another state line before DC!
When we got to lodging we had a little free time before we were to start a major van clean out. While I was waiting a shaved ice truck drove by. After the long day I couldn't resist so I bought a delicious shaved ice, and I got a free lei.
We then cleaned everything out of the vans and put all of our belongings into our bags where they will stay for the rest of the trip. Cleaning out the vans started to really make the end feel real.
We had our final team meeting in the evening. It was a ton of fun. We flew through all of the normal topics and moved into our gag gift exchange. I got a gift card to Chili's so that I can try something new. I also receive the team award "most likely to be made uncomfortable by watching the food network."
Our final team meeting was a blast, and it really will be one of the memories that I carry with me for a long time. I can't believe that things are coming to an end!