Today was going to go quickly because we knew showers and the Ocoee River were waiting for us! We started out our day by seeing two turkey hunters on horseback passing our camp just before we left. We then had a short and easy climb up, you guessed it, and old fire road up to Hemp Top. No view here, so we kept going until we made it to the state line at approximately 10 am! We filled up our water and then made the steep and surprisingly quick ascent on Big Frog Mountain, 1100 feet in a mile.
From here it was nearly all downhill into Thunder Rock Campground and we made it down by 3:10. When we came into the large campground, there was only one RV there, a tent, and the camp host. I asked someone where the pay station was, paid up, and went for the bathhouse. This place had HOT showers! I even did some laundry in the shower but it didn't really dry due to the humidity.
While we were laying out clothes, a man came by and asked us if we were Benton MacKaye thru hikers. We told him yes and he said to come over for beers later. We met Red and his wife, their friends who had recently relocated to NC and their son. We also officially met the camp host and her son. We hung out until 10 pm, which is WAYYYYYY later than hiker midnight ;)