Going back was slow going. Kelsee's legs went numb and almost deadweight less than a quarter of a mile into the return trip. I offered to use my wonderful scout knowledge to build a makeshift stretcher out of branches and fern leaves. ("I's an Eagle Scout," I says.) She scoffed at my offer, however, choosing instead to trust her own legs, no matter how numb and deadweight they'd become. It went from bad to worse when nausea set in about halfway back. I joked for her not to hurl on the trail. She didn't laugh.
I was sympathetic, though. She was a trooper and made it out and by the time we reached Middlesboro, seemed to be back to her old self. Two lessons learned here: 1. Don't listen to old people.
2. If you start down a trail and you notice resting benches every few hundred feet or so, turn around. It's a sign.