Tonight marks the end of my time at Ridgecrest. It’s been a unique experience and something both completely unexpected as well as completely different from everything else I’m doing this trip.
I wanted to do a by-the-numbers thing, so I did it below, starting with 26. It ended up being more numbers than I anticipated, but I’m a freaking trooper so I finished it.
Next stop: D.C. by way of Charlotte.
26 different flavors of ice cream tried (my favorite: extreme moose tracks – chocolate ice cream on chocolate fudge on chocolate chunks. Insulin not included.)
25 minutes to hike to the top of Royal Gorge Lookout, where I arrived sweating and out of breath but thankful for the beauty of the earth and strong arms for dipping ice cream.
24 cups of coffee every three days (8 cups a day) (it’s an addiction).
23 or so volunteers that are wonderful, kind people who helped me understand how difficult facebook is to use and let me in on the secrets of life they’ve learned through the years.
22 physical miles and 10,000 cultural miles to Asheville, NC.
21 is the drinking age in the US. I did not drink any alcohol this past week, which was great news for my wallet.
20 years until I turn 45, which is still young according to the other volunteers.
19 miles hiked at least, all of it solo. No bear bites!
18 dollars spent on a hamburger at the Grove Park Inn. I ate the entire thing, an entire biscuit, and all the fries. I immediately wanted to vomit but hate wasting money.
17 seconds – the amount of time I spent considering stealing a towel from Ridgecrest. I decided against it because it was white and would look very dirty after just a short while. Also, it’s wrong.
16 times I laughed to myself when I thought of how close the Nibble Nook is to being the Nipple Nook.
15 eggs eaten at least. Probably more like twenty, but twenty was already taken in this listicle.
14 reasons to come back next year and seven to never return ever again.
13 hours of straight rain. And then another 48.
12 different buildings to get lost in and / or play hide and go seek in (full disclosure: not sure if it’s actually twelve).
11 o’clock is time to play Bananagrams with the ladies.
10 o’clock is thirty minutes until closing time at the Nipple Nook.
9 accidental curse words or other cultural faux pas that my filter let slip through.
8 days in Baptist territory. No alcohol allowed, and nothing weird preferred.
7 chapters written in my cheesy romance novel featuring a budding relationship between a Nibble Nook volunteer and a boy’s camp counselor. I won’t ruin the ending for you.
6 o’clock is dinner time! Most days featured food that was half fried into oblivion, baked well past done, or sauteed in butter until it lost all its senses. This is not the place to come for your diet.
5 hours of solo hiking wearing forest-colored clothing during what may have been bear hunting season. Also, no one knew where I was. Also, I didn’t know where I was.
4 different people’s detergent I used in the laundry room. I hadn’t brought any and figured I’d spread the burden.
3 hours spent driving to and from Mt. Mitchell in terrible fog on windy roads. This was probably the closest I came to dying.
2 new facebook friends (at least).
1 unique experience I will carry with me until I birth something creative from it, and then I’ll carry that creative thing with me until the day I die.