We left camp quite late, around 12:45 PM. There was no real rush to get to camp, the X being 4 easy miles South. We also took the time to make 2 breakfasts due to an excess of food (for once!). Kudos to corn cakes and cheesy grits. I'd never had cheesy grits before. Not bad at all.
Outside of an 80 foot climb when crossing the river right near camp, the entire hike was downhill. Superb. We hiked it very quickly, getting to camp around 3:30 PM. It was a very normal hike with good conversation. Everyone was mutedly excited about what the next 48 hours would bring.
With expert swiftness, we found camp and kitchen. Then came the meal for which we'd been planning and waiting for three days: Pizza! The only other time we had pizza was Day 6, and I was extremely excited to slowly enjoy a freshly baked sauce, cheese, and summer sausage-laden fried doughball. We started cooking around 4 and weren't done till around 6:30. It takes a long time to make good dough babies and pizzas! I got my hands doughy and flattened the dough balls on the frybake. Pretty much everyone had a hand in the creation process. We made each pizza one at a time, so the other 7 people were looking jealously upon the one person lucky enough to consume that glorious delicacy at that particular moment. I was somewhere in the middle of the pack in eating my pizza and succeeded in savoring my meal for once. It was great group fun to make the pizzas together. However, we all agreed that a mere pan pizza was not enough to fill the belly and scrounged up enough extra food to make a stew.
After that, some of us relaxed and chatted. Some of us wandered off in the forest to push down dead trees. All afternoon and night, spontaneous harmonies broke out. When you've not heard a song for 28 days, you make up ballads and melodies yourself. They were quite good. Seriously, had a recorder been present, a platinum record called "Wilderness Beats" would be taking this nation by storm.
The day was a fitting end to our independent expedition. A group of people just having fun, simply. And with bellies full of pizza.
The last day of ISGE was much less clamorous than the one before it. With two 4 mile days ahead, each with a very steady decline of 400 feet, the end was in sight. My demeanor was calm but excited. Two more days until whatever lessons from this entire trip could be put into practice and life would continue on as it had for 293 months prior. Wow, I just realized I'm almost 300 months old. Weird.