Cell reception cut out about 20 minutes out from camp as I drove in around 8pm. My fingers were crossed that the google maps I didn’t take a snapshot of or write down beforehand would hold--a lack of planning that became even more obviously irresponsible throughout the lectures later in the week.
Fog was rolling in, so I couldn’t see very far in front of my car, hoping there would be no surprise deer tonight, and being proud of myself for telling two different people where I was going, in case I lost the road. But I didn’t, and pulled into the gravel driveway that weirdly only had two cars in it that I could see, and just a couple lights on in the lodge, which was a rusticly built building that reminded me a little of the Bernstein Bears books, especially when I walked inside and found columns of tree trunks with the stubs of branches left on, and bank left on some of the planks of wood used for the rafters.
The first people I met were Matt and Andre, respectively from Australia and Denmark. People had flown in from all over the world and the country, including Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Brazil, Texas, New York, Minnesota, etc. I’d come from Connecticut myself. Most of us were 4th year med students, but there were a few residents and a PA rounding out our 27. The sleeping arrangements were bunkrooms with 8 beds with quaint floral quilts shaded in purples and pinks for the girls side of the hallway, and blues for the boys. Luckily there were only 4 girls in the room I landed in.
We all had an early morning the next morning, and lectures from 8am-8pm planned, with a 7:30am breakfast, so most were asleep by 10pm, after sitting around the leather couches framing the fireplace or coming back from dinner in Roanoke. It was one of those groups of people who are here because we want to be, and in some cases went to a lot of trouble to get here, so the enthusiasm was pretty apparent, and infectious.