FKT: Andrew Highsmith, Laurie Cloud - Georgia Scoop (GA) - 2021-02-28

Route variation
Gender category
Mixed-gender team
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1d 21h 17m 32s
GPS track(s)

Laurie and I began our 4th attempt of The Georgia Scoop Friday morning Feb. 26th right around 5:00am. After 3 previous DNFs on this route (learning Oh so much each and every time!) we decided to stay at a cabin in Vogel the night before which Really helped us get an early start time without the stress of driving up day of!

We had a room in the cabin for my parents (who had agreed to crew) and they drove us down to the Trail head sign in Vogel that morning to see us off. We touched the trail head sign and off we went into an epic day of foggy, misty, gusty rain!

This go round we set up More crew stops and also were So lucky to have to friends that agreed to pace us. It made Such a huge difference!! Originally on our first attempt we were only going to have crew help at Mulky gap (mile 50ish). This made our packs Very heavy and while it was a helpful lesson for Tahoe training it did Not help us complete the scoop.

Our plan this time had crew help us at:

-Mulky gap 13mi ish

-Hwy 60 BMT crossing before Toccoa Swinging Bridge 25mi ish

-Hightower Gap 40mi ish

-Woody Gap 55mi ish

-Tesnatee Gap 70mi ish

-Jacks Gap 82mi ish

We also had Lauren pace us from Hwy 60/BMT for 17 miles to Hightower Gap and Tom pace us from Woody gap till the finish (roughly 50K).

This crew and pacer support was an Absolute game changer for us!!

I don’t exactly know what to say about it at this point. Trying to finish this route has been such a journey for us and now we finally have and it feels so amazing! And of course I am still sleep deprived!!

Our training was better, our fueling was better, our knowledge of what was needed for the route was better, our planning was better, and our support was Freakin Awesome!! .. and the Result of all of this?? Everything was Better and we had a Freakin Awesome Time out there playing in magical forests for almost 2 days straight!!!

It was wet foggy and cold. The trails were muddy and messy and the conditions were not easy (nothing about the route is easy!). But we had the time of our lives together!! What started as a training route for Tahoe 200 became a multi year journey that Laurie and I have been together and I can not believe that in the wee hours of the morning around 2:20am we finally climbed those stairs and touched that sign, Together!

I am so grateful that Laurie and I get to share this life together, these adventures, and that we have friends and family that love and support us!!

A few tid bits of note:

-the decent off Blood into Neels gap on trashed legs is No Joke!!

-the climb up Brasstown with a delirious mind goes on Forever!! All switch backs end up looking the same and the brain can start to play fun glitchy tricks

-This is an Amazing and Very hard route! Go do it!! But make sure you enjoy it

We will be poking some friends to see if we can Crew or pace someone else in their attempt at finishing it to kick off the pay it forward tradition for the route. Beware! You may be next!