On Friday we went to the beach to do a little communing with nature and deep breathing. I needed a lot of those things to stay calm and not to totally freak out from nerves. Also I got my nails done. I discovered my camera was broken, so the rest of the trip was captured by my nifty new camera...picked out by Eric because I was in no state to make decisions (although electronic decisions are never really my thing).
So on Saturday it was time to head to the Cow Palace for orientation. Yes, this whole thing started at a place called the Cow Palace. Ridiculous.
Anyway, I drove (!) Ivy, Tara and myself over to Daly City (!) to be oriented. All prepared with my plastic sleeve of paperwork, I was ready for anything. While there we watched a safety video, turned in forms, bought tee shirts (that was just me???) and got our tent # for the rest of the week. Very exciting!
It was all a little bitter sweet for me to go through all of this without Autumn. I actually cried during the safety video (Autumn LOVES safety!) and had to straight lie to the tent people (oh yes, my tent mate will come pick up her tags soon!) and it was very hard not to have her there. Being that scared and nervous and excited is something only people in that position could really understand and it was really difficult for me not to be experiencing it all with her, the only person in the world who could really understand just what I was thinking. It's hard to readjust your thinking when you have planned something one way for so long, but it was what it was, so I just had to deal with it.
On I went through the day and checked into my hotel for my last night on a real bed. It was glorious. Waking up at 4:30 the next morning: not so much. Time to begin!
Our wonderful and amazing friend Chris made this little sign to make sure everyone that wasn't riding this year would be there with us. Autumn is on there on the bottom corner. Don't worry, I cried. Love you, Chris.
Tara and Caitlin. Cow Palace rock stars.