The morning started with a huge scrambled egg and grits breakfast courtesy of my mom, and then a scramble for me to get some unpacked stuff put together.
We were in high spirits for the two-and-a-half hour drive to the Cohutta Wilderness, with all kinds of different music playing the whole way and leftover grapes and cupcakes from the party to fuel us. We wanted to get on the trail by around 2pm, but the roads to our intended trailhead were slabs of ice, for which our 2WD Trailblazer was no match. A helpful couple who had just finished pulling someone out of a ditch told us how we could get into the Jacks River area without going over the mountain and led us halfway there. I navigated the rest of the way via the trail maps in Backcountry Navigator. We wound up starting from the Wilson Creek trailhead closer to 4:30pm, which was, thankfully, only an hour from Brey Fields and all its wonderful campsites along the Conasauga River. By 5pm, we were saddled up, adjusted, and headed off into a Winter Wonderland coated in a blanket of newfallen snow.