It was hard to peel myself out of bed, but when I did, I saw that Shanna was already studying for her French midterm exams! Of course, I took it upon myself to distract her. 
We joked for a bit until Kelsea woke up and then we joked some more. But then it came time for us to leave. We thanked The Shug for her hospitality and kindness and made our way with a few tears in our eyes. 
Picking up and popping down the camper didn't take us too long but before we hit the road, I managed to reserve ourselves a spot at the Cosby campsite; part of the great smoky mountains national park. We were told to be there by 22.00, which seemed to give us a reasonable window. 
Kelsea drove the whole way there, stopping only twice en route. The second stop was in the middle of the highway, amidst 2 lanes of traffic. Not too far ahead, was a terrible accident that had us stuck for about an hour and a half. It looked pretty serious and our hearts went out to those affected by such tragedy. I couldn't help thinking of how lucky we were not to be involved. 
Whilst I took photos of the crowded cars, Kelsea struggled with answering nature's call. She almost relieved herself in a bottle until she saw other people leave their cars to go pee in the woods. Following suit, she headed for the trees, feeling a lot more comfortable upon her return to the car. 
We arrived at the campsite by 21.30, but the ranger's house was dark and empty. We meandered in the night and somehow managed to find our reserved spot, leaving the camper behind to go find food. 
We had noticed a grocery store at the entrance to the campground, so we drove to the end of the road and to our delight, it was still open. But what was advertised as a grocery store, was nothing of the sort. It was a bar. A really awesome, BBQ serving, beer drinking, cigarette smoking, pool playing, hillbilly bar. And we couldn't have felt more comfortable and welcome. 
After two incredible pulled pork sandwiches, some baked beans and chicken wings on the house, Kelsea resorted to make friends with just about everyone in the bar. Although stunned by her sudden extroversion, I was excited to see this new side of her. Clearly, she was in her element.
We spent the night drawing on the walls, making new friends and finding exactly what we had been searching for. Dakota, our 1 in 5, told us stories of driving and evading the police as we listened intently, absorbing the culture. It was challenging to make sense of his endearing, mountain accent, but his stories were just so good that we had no choice. 
We ended the night with a game of pool and said our goodbyes to the remaining folk in the bar before heading to the campsite to pop up the camper, in complete darkness.

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