Day 1 — Hell Hike and Raft 2015 — The Adventure Begins

Buzz…Buzz….Buzz…. My alarm is going off and there is a monster of a storm raging right outside my window. The lightning and rain started last night before I had settled down for the night. I had not gotten much sleep due to the weather, and excitement of what was to come. I made some coffee, hopped in the shower, and finished packing. I had been back home visiting and taking care of some family stuff before heading to Idaho for Hell Hike and Raft. This year’s trip comes at a time in which an adventure and time in nature is a very welcome change from the past month.

Long before the sunrise my cousin picked me up and we drove off into the stormy darkness headed to the Omaha airport. As we chatted the interior of the car was illuminated with flashes from the lightning all around us. I said goodbye and lugged my bags into the terminal and found myself in a long but quick moving line to check my bags. Moving through the security checkpoint was quick and painless. I found myself extremely excited about the days to come but at the same time exhausted.

I had already had two cups of coffee before leaving the house but more was needed. I ordered my coffee and found a spot at my departing gate. With still plenty of time before the flight was to board I found myself logging on to Facebook. It was quiet but at 5am I did not really expect it to be flowing with news updates and crazy quizzes.

Ding… The gate attendant began a speech about a new destination somewhere in Texas and said that there was cake and coffee for anyone to have. I watched as three children who might have been between the ages of eight and twelve each dart off to get cake and come back with pieces the size of most travelers luggage in the terminal.

It was finally time to board for my first leg of the trip landing in Las Vegas. As we are boarding and people are finding their seats one of the attendants chimes over the intercom that this is an extremely empty flight and feel free to sit anywhere we would like as long as we hustled a little bit quicker.

Empty Rows on the plane from Omaha to Las Vegas.

The flight to Las Vegas was normal. There was no excitement. Many people including myself dozed on and off. I was able to watch the sunrise from above thirty-thousand feet. If you have never witnessed a sunrise while on an airplane you need to add that to you bucket list.

Sunrise from the air.

We landed in Las Vegas and I had a few hour layover and we were early getting into the gate. I wandered around for a short while and finally found myself at the gate. My phone buzzes and it is Scott asking how my flights were going and where I was. I had previously told him that I was headed through Chicago which would have been true had I not had to change my flight several times due to the family business I had attended to. I asked him where he was but no answer. A few minutes later Scott walks up. “Guess we are going to be on the same flight to Boise” he says. We grabbed coffee and breakfast and discussed the day ahead.

The flight was extremely short. An up and down not even long enough to have in flight service. Scott and I both thought it was going to be a much longer flight but we both did not take into account we can time travel or the time zone changes. We landed and instantly took to social media to find out where the rest of the crew was waiting. Kovas had been there the longest and we were all surprised to have arrived before Rozanne and Jen. No more than an hour later we had the whole crew who had flown in and Jana and Thom met us at the Boise airport to help with transportation to New Meadows. We stopped for a quick lunch and chat before heading north.

Almost three hours later we arrived in New Meadows Idaho. We checked into our rooms and met Dean who had driven in from Canada. We were still waiting on Pablo but due to a few delays he was going to be a little late.

Becky from Americas Rafting Company arrived with dry bags and gave us a pre trip briefing before we handed out all of the gear that had been sent ahead of us. Many of us then repacked or at least organized our gear before we set out for dinner. The rest of the evening was spent enjoying good conversation great food and getting to know everyone.

To view more Hell Hike and Raft photos, videos and follow the rest of the adventure please make sure to visit my Hell Hike and Raft 2015 page.

Originally published at www.hikingthetrail.com.

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