Trek Diary: Day Six (2nd July)
Ahh! This was such a good day! It started of by claiming shotgun and having DJ duties for the first time. Despite being American, i found out our trek leader has family in the UK and in the county over from me. For the next few hours we discussed (often rainy and boring) memories of Dorset and the New Forest area. At a gas station stop, Steve returned from the shop and threw a paper in my lap…
Again, America is weird.
This was a short drive and we arrived at our campsite just after lunch. We were staying in Tennessee next to the Occoee river, where we went white water rafting. With our life jackets, helmets and aqua shoes on, we piled into a yellow school bus and drove to the start of the river. Dana, our instructor, gave us a lesson in how to sit properly in the boat, how to use our paddles and how not to get injured. In my boat, there was Lisa, Natalie, Chang, Anthony, Rob and myself. Dana was obviously a bit of a pro and we did things like surfing upstream and partially sinking our boat. There was also a calm point where us girls got into the river for a swim, although we did have to get unceremoniously hauled back into the boat by Dana. From then on, the river got a little more treacherous…mainly because of a horsefly! It was buzzing about our faces as we were trying to steer our boat through the rapids and by this point i was ready to take my chances in the river. Eventually i spotted it on Lisas ankle and Dana managed to kill it…totally saved her life! One rapid to go, and nobody had fallen out! As i was thinking about how amazing this feat was, i saw a wall of white foam to my left and when it was gone…so was Natalie. Luckily, Dana manged to grab her and pull her back into the boat (for a second time). She was fine though and seemed to find it hilarious!
The next day (the 3rd) was Lisa’s 21st birthday. We decided to hold a surprise birthday party for her here, as we knew we could be as loud as we wanted at this campsite. I was in charge of keeping her distracted whilst everyone else decorated camp. Despite wandering into Natalie with a cart full of party stuff at Walmart, Lisa did actually seem quite surprised! There were pink balloons, plates, streamers and the most amazing cake! We played lots of beer pong, Steve taught us a version called “Pilot” and we met “Ingo the Dingo”. Dingo was a particular side of Ingrid that appears with alcohol and would come out with classics such as, “You can do it!” and “Don’t leave me out here like a sacrificial lamb” After beer pong there were fireworks, Chinese lanterns but also moonshine…
From this point, its all a bit of a blur.
I recall running away from fireworks that exploded in our direction, being “mum” and telling people to “BE CAREFUL!” even if they just had a sparkler. Dana, the rafting guy also took me and Lisa on a scary wander round the woods. We genuinely thought he was leading us away from camp, it was dark, we panicked, ran away…until we realised that he was actually taking us in the right direction after all. Awkwaaaaard. There was more beer pong (apparently) and i vaguely remember talking absolute crap to everyone. I never found out what i said but its likely that i embarrassed myself. It was probably something explicit or just completely moronic, depending on what kind of drunk i was that evening. Other photo evidence from facebook allows me to fill in some missing gaps, including sitting on peoples lap, people giving lap dances (not me, thank god!) and a “Get Steve drunk in NOLA” pact that i have no recollection of. My tend bud (and her photos) inform me that i got furious when i couldn’t find my pretzels, popped every balloon in the tent using my body and that i needed to go to the toilets by myself, so that i could “have time to think”. I’m still not entirely sure what the topic was.