After a very wet and tiring day of walking the bus dropped us off at our camp. The rain was still coming down, and I was not looking forward to setting up my tent. This is when I got two lucky breaks. I walked around camp getting oriented, and found the area of camp where my row of tents - Row I - would be. I walked down the row, and lo and behold, my tent was up. A young man came up to me, and said "Are you Art?" "Sure am," I said, extending my hand. His name was Devon, my tent mate, and he had already put up our tent. Then I got my second stroke of luck for the day.
The two women who had the tent next to us had decided they had had enough rain and discomfort, and had decided staying in a hotel would be better for them. They had told Devon that he could use their tent. Thus, we each had a tent to ourselves, which given all the wet geat to spread out, was great. As a third stroke of luck, there was water in the tent, and they had left two towels in there - towels I used over and over to mop up water and semi-clean mud off my feet.
I located my gear - very lucky because it was in the middle of the pile for "Row I" and thus not wet and muddy like some of the bags towards the edges of the pile - and lugged it up the rise to my tent. I crawled in and unpacked some of my stuff, sopping up water with the towels. The rain beat down on the tent and it was stuffy in there, so I didn't linger long. I grabbed some clean (and dry) clothing and headed down for a shower. It was about a third of a mile each way. The smartest thing I have ever done is pay $12 for two days of towel service. I got two big towels for each shower and didn't have a wet towel to use the next day stinking up my tent. The showers were set up in these big portable shower trucks, one for men, the rest for women. The water was piping hot and felt great. There were also some outdoor sinks for brushing one's teeth, shaving, and so forth.The camp was very comfortable, even in the rain and mud. There were banks of portapotties, two big tenting areas on rises so they were fairly dry, and a huge dining tent. There was also a food serving area, and a bank of smaller tents for getting messages, relaxing, and checking out displays. A Komen 3-Day store was also set up, and a Bank of America area where you could sit in a massage chair for a few minutes. There was also a remembrance area, which I will discuss later. This is a view of the food serving area (right) and a small part of the huge dining tent (left).Here I am on Saturday evening outside my tent. Inside, it looks like a running store and an REI store had a couple of sticks of dynamite go off. And it smelled like something crawled into the tent, vomited, and died! I couldn't figure it out until I got home and got a good whiff of my Friday running shoes! OMG!