D0: The Hikers Convene
Trip Start Jul 07, 2012
33Trip End Sep 27, 2012
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Anyways, upon entering the Noble, I met a nice guy at the check-in desk who was also originally from Maryland...didn't think I would make that connection quite so soon, being 2,000 miles from home and such. To my surprise (and probably because I didn't realize this place was more of a hostel than a hotel), there was only 1 key for every room attached to a big wooden block with the room number on it. I don't particularly know why, but this moment in particular called into question my assuredness...if something this simple seemed totally weird, who knew what was to come. But I checked it off as one experience in many and carried my bag up to my room, which contained two bunk beds for 4 people. Yeppers, definitely a hostel!
After a quick and tasty pulled pork sandwich, I had to be back at the Noble to meet up with the group at 5:30PM. I sat down in the lobby right near another person who immediately introduced herself as Nan, and it turned out that she would be one of the instructors on the course! We chatted for a bit as other people started to trickle in. At 5:30, we were ushered into a room to start meeting one another. My first thought was hmmm...these people look young :). There were 15 students including myself (12 guys, 3 girls), and 3 female instructors. The instructors introduced themselves as Annemarie, Nan, and Jamie, then introduced ourselves by saying our name and favorite ice cream. We played a few name games to help with memorization, and then the funniest statement of the meeting came out as Annemarie: "Unless you are over 21, and only 1 person in this group is, you may not drink alcohol".
I then went to the Gannett Grill for dinner #2 with my newfound hiking gruop. Just got a little salad this time...didn't want to overdo it. (Note: I should have overdone it. (Hint: Foreshadowing!! haha) ). Got a great chance to talk with a few people and found a general mutual interest in Duck Dynasty. Probably because it is one of the best shows in the storied annals of television. Please please watch it if you have not already.
Every person seemed to add a unique and vibrant personality to the group, and I personally was in a state of quiet, guarded excitement. I'd been planning this trip specifically for 3 months, and dreaming of the West for much longer than that. Here it sat before me, not 1 day away! 1 more wake up until the adventure truly begins.