First and foremost: Thank you to my friends, family, co-workers, teammates (GO HOTTIES!), and perfect strangers who supported Amelia and I in our fund raising efforts. Even more thanks to everyone who showed support in cheering us on in training and through the 3-Day event itself.
Amy and I woke up incredibly early-- 4:00 AM, to ensure that we were dressed and ready to take our Green Cab to Bellevue Community College.
I would like to breifly state that our experience with Green Cab was a positive one: The driver was polite and helpful, readily admitted to needing some help back to the highway (Kenmore isn't easy to navigate if you aren't familiar with it), and the car was clean and quiet.. We will be taking a Green Cab to the airport next month ;)
We arrived to the event pretty early. The view from the cab was already exciting! We saw an incredible amount of pink colored banners and advertising. Early bird walkers talking, cheering, stretching, keeping warm with espresso and coffee, some eating on-the-go breakfast, some doing last minute pack or bag adjustments. All be it 5 AM, everyone seemed to exude a positive attitude.
Loading our gear onto our gear truck was a breeze. I'm not sure how many there were, but it could have been 24 or more Budget rental trucks that lined one of the walk ways off to our left. Each one clearly lettered so we knew where to drop our bags that contained our camping gear and extra supplies for the next three days.
We turned around and took in the view of the stage and the holding area where opening ceremonies were going to begin. It was already a sight to behold! Luckily, Amy and I both zoomed in on a small Starbucks logo that was near the holding area. We walked our happy butts over to this poor Starbucks van and 4 barristas that were going to be supplying free coffee for the entire crowd of ~3,500 people! Thankfully Amy and I were some of the first in line and we got our free tall drip house blend which kept us warm and infused a bit of energy in our step for the morning (we are chronic espresso drinkers.. and we will drink coffee at home when we don't feel like spending money or time on espresso out).
When it all got under way we meandered through the Bellevue Community College campus, and the three days of walking ensued.
Highlights of my journey:
- People were of all varieties when it came down to personality, politeness, and positive or negative mind sets. We experienced a lot of positive, upbeat and talkative individuals along our routes. Amy and I generally walked faster than majority of the people at the 3-Day, so it was fun passing people on the left and asking them how their day was going, finding out more about them if they were really chatty, and sharing experiences with our fellow walkers along the way.
We *did* encounter negative people. Most of them were pretty rude in trying to pass us on the route (w/out saying "on your left!"), or were fairly rude when we attempted to talk or pass them ourselves. Such is life! I hope they had an overall positive experience at least.
- Camping was quite an experience. A sea of pink tents at Marymoor park, the mobile showers (which upon my first shower didn't work.. the generator was out of gas!), the giant big-top tent in which we sat and ate, joked, saw some incredible (-ly good and bad) karaoke.. and a decent nights rest after a full day of walking. It was comfy enough, though if we do this again we know that it gets COOOOLD at night and in the AM when you are trying to get ready to go.
- At the end of Day #1, I had some nasty looking blisters on my pinky toes. The medical tent (which was uber busy during the whole event) had to lance, drain, and bandage my toes. They said to try walking on day 2. Day 2 was uncomfortable from the get go. My toes were hot, and I could feel the rubbing even in my bandages. We got about 7 or so miles in, and my feet were KILLING me. It felt so hot out along the Snohomish river.. and I decided that I had to call it for the morning. We took a shuttle to lunch, and during lunch I aired out my feet-- it was pretty bad =T I tried to put my shoes back on and walk across to Walgreens from Juanita Park.. no go. My feet were done for the day. Amy was with me 100%, so we took a shuttle back to camp to spend the rest of the afternoon cheering on the walkers making it back to camp. *That* was a lot of fun and very motivational/inspirational.
- Day 3 started early early with taking our tent down, packing our stuff, dropping our equipment at the equipment truck, then getting a quick breakfast and hopping in line to catch a bus to downtown Seattle. When we arrived at the JAPANESE GARDENS (*not* the Arboretum as they kept telling us), we proceeded to do a very familiar path for the day that eventually dropped us downtown. The day was moving quick. My feet were doing well as long as we didn't stop *too* long. Unfortunately we ended up VERY far ahead of most of the Hotties, and it was hot enough (and lack of shade--) at the last checkpoint that we decided to press on. Again, we stayed at the very last steps to the end of the walk to cheer on everyone until our team arrived and we could all walk in together being cheered on by the public.
Here is a link to one of our teammate's (Hottie Courtney) Picasa Albums. I have yet to get the small amount of pictures and videos off of my camera.