Eventually the pair, made it to Atlanta Georgia, where they met Ryan “Skippy” Gaunt, a 31 year old wind turbine rigger, and his coworker Eric Ruderman, a 34 year old from Santa Cruz. Ruderman and Skippy had flown into Atlanta from a job in Iowa to meet Al and Abel for a two week trip through the south.
While Al had spent some time in the south, and Skippy was a North Carolina boy, the other two had never explored the dirty south.
“It was nice being back in the woods and leaves of the fall. People are real friendly and Chattanooga is a nice quiet town. There were churches everywhere.”
The crew got great weather and only had one day of rain, on a planned rest day. At every restaurant they went to, the waitresses loved the motley crew of climbers. The trip was ideal. “The sandstone. The slopers. Cooking over open fires in HP (didn't bring any gear). Had perfect weather,” said Al, who’s favorite part of the trip was cooking over an open fire in Horse Pens with his buddies. There was “Lots of bromance,” said Al.
Al took great pictures of the trip. More of his photos can be found on his blog, here