This is as far as the road would take us, so we parked here and began the hike up the mountain to one of the entrances to Fern Cave near Paint Rock, AL. Our destination was Surprise Pit where we would be doing a 404 foot rappel and ascent. I was extremely sleep-deprived, so I really wanted to keep moving. I did okay except for the ascent out of the pit. I told Shawn that I was going to make a slow climb out so that I wouldn't get drenched in sweat and end up cold while I waited on him at the top. So I trudged up the rope a ways and then stopped to rest for a bit. I had two bright Sten lights blazing on high power on my helmet, and every time I stopped to rest, the rope would spin very slowly so that as Shawn laid on the rocks below, he was seeing the walls of the amzing pit lighting up like he had never imagined. During the first couple rest breaks, I looked around in awe at the mammoth hole I was ascending out of. But further up the rope, the sleep deprivation was really getting to me, and I found myself leaning my helmet against the rope and dozing off during my rest breaks. Shawn said he wasn't quite sure what I was doing since I normally scamper up the rope at a good clip. Such an amazing place, yet I was falling asleep!