They could see the Mount Shasta from thirty miles away as the group of friends were getting excited. All of Amber's planning went out the window the closer they got because with each mile their excitement level rose higher. Only Keith was being quiet as he wonders to himself why all the joy of just walking up a mountain. He didn't understand them, but he supposes it was like his team watching the game films.
When they pull up in the parking lot they were a bit surprised to see all the cars that were there, but Flo from the diner did tell them that a lot of people were coming up here ahead of them. They found a park and quickly begin unloading their equipment.
"I can't believe that we are finally here."
"Chris if I had a bucket list this would be definitely on it."
"Guys I want you to know if I hadn't already said it thanks for doing this."
"Chris I never knew how big this mountain was, it must feel like riding on an airplane once you reach the top."
"Don't start that again Keith. I would rather hike up there than to be strapped inside of a flying lunchbox with recirculated air to breathe for hours at a time."
They all laugh at his remarks as they sit down and change their shoes, and that's when Keith notices that they had hiking shoes but he still just had his Air Jordan's to wear. He hopes that would be alright. Chris did tell him before they left to look up what equipment he would need, he had no idea how serious these guys were taking this until now. He keeps quiet and digs through his backpack.
Once everyone had changed and the door was lock they went to the ranger's office for any pamphlets or any extra guide books that they could get their hands on. They didn't want anything to go wrong and David was especially cautious about everything. He had already texted his mom before they left the car. He had to promise her that he would text her every six hours once they made it, just to assure her that they were safe.
The ranger office looks like a wooden cabin as they check-in and made for sure they had their permit. They got another look at the weather and just like Amber saw earlier there was potential for a storm to roll in on Sunday, but they were hoping to be already done by then. Chris met with the rangers and took down the phone number of the office and finding the location of emergency phones on the route. The group set out to start their dream hike up Mount Shasta.
Ollie was still nervous but he did not want to show it to Samantha, he did not trust her and didn't want her to turn him it. He found it hard to be on this assignment and even his training he had to work twice as hard as everyone else just to be accepted. Now on this trip, he was determined to follow through. He still didn't understand why they had set up that equipment but now that they were returning down the Devil's Path his heart was pounding a little harder. After the known part of the lava tube ended they kept walking past the point of lights and where all tour groups normally ended. This was the unexplored part of the tunnel. He wonders what people would think if they knew that the Tears of the Sea had set up base camp right underneath their very noses.
Once they were inside of the base they were monitors on every aspect of the mountain. Plus they were checking radio frequencies and monitoring cell calls that is how they knew about the federal agent. He had gotten the closest to them since this had all started. Their leader Samanta's father Meko was not happy that someone had made it that close to them. He ordered more watches and more monitoring duties for everyone.
"Samanta, did everything proceed as planning?"
"Yes, father and Ollie here did his job without hesitation. That federal agent never saw anything until he felt the end of my blade."
"That is good you two, if we are going to succeed we need more people like you two to help us push through all the roadblocks. We have full faith in our plan to protect mother earth and to give her land back to her. These infidels far too long have harmed her, but that ends in two days.