**Just so you all know – I am mostly just writing this to preserve my memories. So I am sorry if it is not perfect grammar, or if some of it does not make much sense. :)**
I woke up Friday morning extremely nervous. I was going to be leaving my family for the first time ever, and I was NOT ready.
Cole, Mom, Dad and I were in a hotel room in Ashville, NC. We had gotten there late the night before so that we would be able to sleep in before getting to the airport (where everyone was meeting) by two.
Then Dad’s phone alarm went off. At 6:00. And I could not fall asleep again. So I got on my computer, worked on a blog post and took care of a couple of things that I had not gotten to earlier. By then it was 7, and the hotel breakfast was open. So Colter and I went down to the breakfast room. I tried to eat, but I could not get anything down. I think I had a half of a yogurt container, which is not enough for me. I knew I was going to be hungry later, so I grabbed a bagel and cream cheese to bring back to the room, and some coffee for Dad. Then Colter and I went back up to the room to drop off the food and get into our bathing suits.
The hotel pool opened at eight, so we took our time getting ready. We were down at the pool room by 8:10, ready to get into the water. I did some half-hearted swimming in the pool, and then decided to get into the hot tub. I was hoping that it would calm me down and help me relax. It helped a little bit, but not nearly enough.
I think it was around 10:00 when I decided that it was time to go back to the room and get ready. I was so nervous! I had just been talking to this nice guy in the hot tub about my trip, and all it had done was make me even more nervous. At least by then I had stopped crying – for the past week it seemed like all I had done was cry every time I thought about the trip. It was not like I was trying too… The tears just spilled out everytime I thought about it.
We went back up to the room and I took a nice hot shower, knowing that it would be the last one that I would have in two weeks. It would have been a really long shower, but we had to be out of the room in an hour, and I still had to finish packing up my stuff.
I got out of the shower and got dressed in my outward bound clothes. I regretfully packed my comfy cotton shorts in my bag, knowing that I would be wearing the “quick-dry” shorts for the next two weeks. And I don’t care what they say about quick-dry clothes – they never dry as fast as you want them too. Just sayin’.
We got in the Hulk and started driving to the airport. That was when I started crying again. I was starting to wonder when I was going to run out of tears, and hoping that it was before the rest of my crew got there. I knew that I was going to be the smallest, youngest kid there – I did not need to be known as a cry-baby on top of that. Mom kept trying to point out the beautiful scenery, but I could not appreciate it then. I had been able to appreciate it the day before, but then? I was too busy trying to cry all of my tears before we met the rest of my crew. 🙂
We got to the airport at about 12. We still had two hours before we had to leave, so I had a feeling that we were going to be the first kids there. We walked through the door of the airport and saw a guy with an Outward Bound t-shirt on. We walked over to him and introduced ourselves, and a lady with a clipboard came over too us. We told her our names and she gave me a blue dot to stick on my shirt, and she gave Colter a yellow one. I looked around – there were two boys with a yellow dot sitting in chairs, but no blue dots yet. Mom and Dad told Colter to go over and introduce himself to his crewmates, but all he did was walk over and sit in silence with them. Honestly, I don’t blame him.
I kept watching Julie, the lady with the clipboard. There were a few more boys with yellow stickers, and then there he was. The first guy with a blue sticker. He looked big and shy, and my first thought was, “crap!” Actually, I don’t even remember why I thought that, I just think it is funny. Because looking back at my time with Kayce, I realize that I had nothing to worry about. 🙂
The next person there for the blue group was a big, tall, blond guy. He went to the bathroom to change, and when he was on his way back Dad pointed at him. “You see that guy, Brett? His name is Robert, and you better make friends with him because he is the guy who is going to help you carry all of your stuff when it gets too heavy for you”. I shook my head at Dad and stayed sitting. I was not going over to where the blue group was sitting until I had a girl there. That was when Mom asked me if I was hungry. I told her no, and she dragged me over to buy some snacks anyway. I did not want anything -I actually had not eaten that bagel from the hotel breakfast. I was too nervous to eat anything. But, we got some chocolate covered pretzels and a granola bar, and I stuck them in my bag.
And then the first girl arrived.
It took me a few minutes to realize that she was actually on my crew. I saw the blue dot, but it did not actually sink in until Mom nudged me and told me to go sit by her. I felt like I was going to start crying again, but walked over to her anyway. She was sitting there texting someone, and I don’t think she really noticed when I sat next to her.
She looked up from her phone, and I held out my hand for her to shake. Her name was Maggie, and she was from Pittsburgh. We sat and talked about how nervous we were, and we agreed that we could be nervous together, and that we could cry together when we got homesick.
After that, I forget who came and when. We met one of our instructors, Katie, and we each talked with her about any last minute concerns. By then we only had 2 more girls that we were waiting on.
My crew was starting to know each other – we were all talking, laughing, and starting to have a good time. I kept looking over at Colter’s crew. They were all just sitting there. Actually, I think Colter was talking with one of the other boys. My crew and I agreed that we were going to have more fun then Colter’s crew, since we were only at the airport and already having fun. LOL
We had a girl whose flight was delayed, so we were at the airport till three. Once Tullia got there, it was time to go. Mom and Dad came to me, gave me a hug and said they were leaving, and left. I am surprised that I did not cry – I think it is because I did not have time to realize what was happening.
We got the two crews together in a circle, where Josh, (the course director) handed out some slips of paper with things on them that might happen that would make it hard for us. Things like “you get into camp and it is midnight” and “you have to hike over a 1/4 mile just to get water”. Then he told us a few other things, (that I don’t remember anymore…) and then it was time to load up in the 15 passenger vans. My crew put our duffel bags in the trailer, and then Colter’s crew put their bags in. There was only one trailer, but we were going to meet up with a truck for their duffel’s an hour or so after we left the airport.
I was sitting in the front seat with Maggie and Tullia. At first I was sitting right behind the driver, but then Maggie asked if she could sit there so she could sleep against the window. We switched spots, and Maggie and Tullia both fell asleep. I spent most of that car ride just listening to Luke and Bruce talk in the back seat.
We drove for an hour or so, and then stopped at a Food Lion (a local grocery store, kind of like Kroger) so we could get rid of Crew Nine’s duffels. Colter and I waved goodbye at each other through the car windows, and then we left. After that, I did not see anyone that I had known before Outward Bound, for 12 days.
Camp was still a good hour to an hour and a half away. I ate some of my chocolate covered pretzels and put the rest away for later. I sat and stared out the window, trying not to cry, looking at the gorgeous scenery. I listened to the conversations going on around me, and put in a few words when I thought the other’s might find it interesting.
At about 5:00, we made it to the mountain. We started going up the mountain and kept going. And kept going. And then there was a lady standing on the side of the road, waving and motioning for us to drive off the road onto this little trail. I honestly did not think that we were going to get on that trail with our fifteen passenger van and trailer, but apparently Gavin (the driver) is good at manipulating the trailer. 😀 He managed to get us through, and in about three minutes, we got our first look at our camp.
Two tarps set up in a clearing, with backpacks under them and piles of gear set around the clearing.
That was our camp.
We all got out of the van and stumbled into the clearing. (Literally – I tripped on my way in and almost fell. :)) There we got into a circle, (we were quick to learn that Outward Bound people like circles) and introduced ourselves. That was when we learned that our other instructor was the lady who had been waving, and her name was Jen.
**OK – that’s all I have time to write tonight. Hopefully I can get more written before next Sunday! 😀 **
Click here to read the next part of Day One.