The Avon 39 sets up a pretty impressive Base Camp between Days 1 and 2. There is a sea of pink tents, a shower truck, and a field of port-o-potties. There are also buses that take those who don’t want to camp back to the hotel. But we are “all in” and want the full experience. We are camping.
But – we have just walked 26 miles. It is starting to get dark and now we have to find our luggage and set up our tents. We limp across a field that is wet with dew (and goose poop) dragging our gear in search of our tent assignment.
All that is there is an empty space. All the fast walkers already have their tents up and have been enjoying massages, live music, and dinner. By the time we get there, the massage tent is dark and there is no more music. And it is now dark.
Thankfully, a volunteer says he will help set up our tents, and we can go to dinner. We gratefully drop our gear and slowly make our way to the dinner tent, kind of hunched over. We are so happy to see Coke (which I don’t even normally drink) and have a pretty delicious meal of chicken fajitas and smores. Maybe we will make it after all.
We head back to camp, looking forward to a shower and good night’s sleep, only to find that only 2 of our 3 tents are set up . There is a hole where my tent is supposed to be. I sink to the ground and contemplate just sleeping on the wet grass. I think I could do it at this point. But my wonderful team takes over and puts up my tent – I could have kissed them.
We get showers (from a shower truck) and set up our sleeping arrangements. Our bedding has been the subject of very serious contemplation for several weeks. We do not have electricity or much room – and had to pack everything in our gear. I have opted for a Thermarest camping pad. I started with a smaller version that was only as wide as a surfboard (but very compact). Thankfully Frank – ever the rocket scientist- made me do a sleep simulation, and I realized I would just fall right off if I rolled over. So I upgraded to the XL version – a good call. I collapse into bed and fall asleep.
As Scarlett says, “Tomorrow is another day.”