Sorry I didn't meet up with you guys. I arrived at the fire tower at 9:15pm and hit the trail. Made it to the crescent valley turn off just as final light was fading. I hollered for Mule and others many times but heard no response. I didn't want to bushwack in to the valley without knowing for sure that someone was there, so I decided to try to stay at the campsite adjacent to the crescent valley. It was impossible to find the campsite in the dark (after walking in circles for 15 mins) so I set up just off the trail in a small clearing near the creek. I left camp around 10 Saturday morning and hoofed it back up the Sycamore to the fire tower to meet my brother in law.
We met at the Grubb Ridge lot and hiked the Peninsula Trail to the very end and camped right on the lake. The trail was sloppy and it poured rain on us most of the 5 miles, but the view from camp was worth it. Hiked out this afternoon and got home a little bit ago.
All in all, it was an awesome weekend. I've never hiked at night before and never set up camp in the middle of the woods in the dark. Faced some fears and felt great for the rest of the trip.
Also, I finally had a great nights sleep in the hammock and I think I have my setup just right for me. I now fully appreciate my move from the ground and consider myself a hanger for life.
I look forward to meeting up with everyone in the fall when I can get back into the woods again. Hopefully I'll be able to find you and we can laugh over some drinks.