Let me begin by telling you on the drive there, it should have taken me 2 hours to get there - MAX. Instead, I was driving and look up only to see the street I was supposed to be on passing over me. Damn. There wasn't anywhere to turn around. So instead I went almost 45 minutes out of my way in order to get to the correct place.
Going into this weekend, my number 1 goal was to learn how to make fire.
After that freaking drive, it should have been to learn to read maps.
I get there and check in. I am given a tee shirt (woot to free shit!), my cabin assignment and a map. You are here! Your cabin is here! We will meet here for orientation and a picture! Now go, be wild my child. (ha, poet and didn't even know it)
I then proceeded to haul my suitcase (way too much stuff) and the pillow, sleeping bag and other miscellaneous stuff that would not fit in my suitcase up the damn hill where my cabin resides. There were three cabins attached to each other. One on the bottom, the second in the middle and MINE at the top. Oh, just keep hiking up and up the hill. You'll get there.
Okay, so it really wasn't that bad. And hello, the bungee cords I bought to strap all my stuff to my suitcase - GENIUS!!
Two of the five cabin mates were already in there. From the get-go they were both incredibly nice and very talkative. AWESOME! I picked a bunk and pushed my suitcase underneath the bottom one and threw my sleeping bag over the top bunk. Our cabin had about five bunk beds, a sink, shower and a toilet. That's it. Kinda like sleep away camp when I was in sixth grade. Only no resident adviser.
After getting a few things unpacked and stuffing them into my sleeping bag like my pjs, pillow, book and book light. I headed off to orientation.
When I located my map, the top third had ripped off because I had to ingeniously stuffed it in my pillow case to be carried up the hill to my cabin, but halfway there I wasn't sure i was going the right direction so I had to pull it out. (i know what you're thinking)
We all gathered around - 100 women in the wilderness to learn and get back to nature. We listened to the director/leader, then smooshed in for a picture and then were led down to the mess hall for lunch.
Does anyone remember loving the food in summer camp? No? Must of just been me. I love cafeteria food. This stuff was awesomely good and I loved the healthy aspect. There was meat, bread, veggies, fruit and always, dessert. It was so mess hall style too. A long buffet line where only the servers touch the plates and food, then at the table there is all the silverware and glasses in the middle of the table. We would serve round table style. In the end, there were tubs for each utensil and we'd stack our plates, cups and bowls in front of the kitchen window for cleaning.
Off I went to my first class, Warm Water Fishing. I ran into someone who was taking this class. She hiked down the one and half mile to the pond to wait til it started. The girl I hiked down with was one of the instructors for the Paddling/Kayaking class. (bummer no kayaking for me) The instructor was this really nice guy whose voice sounded exactly like my grandfather's. Odd, but very comforting. He had us string our fishing poles, tie on the hook and then explained how to best cast. He then walked us through the different types of bait - his favorite are worms, meal worms and hot dog. I am sorry. I will do a lot of things, but bait a hook with a worm just wigs me out. I cannot do it. I still jump and scream like a little wimp when it moves. Ew gross! I just can't do it. Otherwise, I am an expert warm water fisher. Except that I did not catch a damn thing even though my classmates around me were catching these ginormous catfish, trout and sunfish. Damn.
I was the last one at the fishing pond, so I hiked back on my own. The trek is beautiful and very peaceful. I walked right up into dinner. Oh yum! I am not a salad fan, but after an afternoon of serious fishing, I was starving.
After dinner we have planned activities like learning to tie flies for fly fishing; a herpetologist with live animals and night fishing. I, of course, wanted to do it all. But unfortunately I couldn't so I floated around. I started at the Herpetology lecture, but they had very large, very crawly snakes. I left. I went to tie flies. This is right up my alley. I love crafts! It was way harder than I thought it would be, but after about 45 minutes I had caught the hang of it and made three ties to attach to my hat!! I then went back to the Herpetology and they were discussing the tortoise. Very cool. They went on to pull out a crocodile, a hila monster (and they allowed both of these to roam around the floor on their own together) and a salamander.
Oh I forgot to mention, after my first class, but before dinner we had a game tasting feast where a class cooked up different types of game meat and made things like chorizo and stew.
And Prickly Pear Margaritas!! They were very yummy!!
This next picture is called "Bonding with bunk mates"
The first day there was so eye opening. I realized that I know more than I thought I did and I am completely enamored with the outdoors. I am definitely more okay with all things nature than I thought.
I honestly can thank my dad for all of that training. He has taught me to fish, camp and survive though on a lighter level.
Though I didn't sleep at all that first night, maybe two hours at the most. Find out tomorrow why that was.