Trek Diary: Day Three (29th June)
The first day started at 7:15am down in the lobby of the Hilton, which was full of nervous virgin Trekkies. After spotting a few familiar faces from the facebook group, we all got separated into two vans. Despite being in different vans, we were following the same route, staying at the same places and would see each other every day. After some nervous chatting we were introduced to our Trek Leader who would be driving us around for the next three weeks. We had Steve, a Californian with a dyed mustache and a penchant for grandpa t-shirts and brightly coloured sunglasses. After the paperwork, we did some red neck accent icebreakers and went off to get acquainted with the van.
Ohhhh the van! Its amazing how attached you can became to a vehicle. It was our home for 3 weeks and i still miss it now. Admittedly most people did the majority of their sleeping in the van (bar me and a few others) but somehow the hours on the road flew by! The journey on our first day was from Newark, NJ down to Washington DC and took about 4 hours. It was spent playing more (quite revealing) ice breaker games, a lot of hangman and had conversations about our expectations of the weeks to come. Friendships were formed and it was a beautiful thing.
Our first campsite was in an area just outside the city of Washington. We got there about 4 in the afternoon and Steve taught us how to set up the tents, how to sort out the cooking equipment and other housekeeping stuff. The tents were pretty easy to put up, although Lisa (my tent bud) and I, needed boy help for the first week or so (we were pros by the end!) This first night was also a bit of a phobia confrontation and a massive learning curve when it comes to camping. (I will elate on this terror later in this post) When it got dark we hopped back into the van, minus the trailer and went into Washington DC where we walked around all the monuments for a few hours with our american flags.
When we returned to camp we were all pretty tired. Lisa and i were stumbling around trying to find a torch, when i noticed something crawling on my foot. Upon turning the flashlight on, we found that the ground was literally MOVING. Spiders, centipedes, beetles…you name it. Everything and anything that had an exoskeleton and more than 4 legs was running around our feet and more importantly…our open tent. The next few moments are pretty blurred, but i am aware that it involved a lot of girly screaming and frantic zip pulling. Did anybody come to our assistance? Nope. Apparently, the rest of our group thought we were exaggerating the situation and/or didn’t hear us. The traumatic event was definitely put into its correct perspective the day we left. As we packed up our campsite we found a cluster of spiders, all huddled together in a big ball between our rain sheet and tent. There must have been at least 50 of the buggers. (I so wish i had gotten a photo!) I mean i am grateful they were non-venomous but we were pretty cautious with tent location for the rest of the trip.
Oh wait, here is a good representation of the spider gang.
I am notorious for having wildlife encounters, especially on holiday. For example, i once got a cricket in my ear when i was in Menorca. I had warned the group and my tent buddy of this, but this was DAY ONE!! I was pretty intrigued to see what nature would throw at me next. Luckily, the creatures seemed to get less scary as the trip continued. Lisa and I definitely bonded during this distressing event and we rewarded ourselves with an extra hour in bed for being so brave! 🙂