Another day of rain here on the island.
I have a lot of new followers (welcome!!) and I was talking to my friend Ashley today and realized, none of you know the story of how Mike and I become the couple we are.
Soooo let's rewind it back to May of 2010. I was in a weird place in my life, living in Fayetteville, Arkansas and working double shifts Mon-Friday at the local sports bar. I was steeping into a form of mild depression and I didn't really know what to do with my life. I've NEVER had an issue with depression, no matter the bad high school experiences, dropping out of college, or my siblings getting shipped overseas for the war.. I've always been able to look at the bright side of things and enjoy life. It was a scary world for me at the time and I didn't know how to fix it.
Everything had been the same since the summer before. I hung out with the same girls, we did the same thing every weekend (partying, drinking, pretty much killing myself slowly), and when March came, we went to Panama City Beach for Spring Break - everything changed. 3 of my good friends and me road tripped to Florida, and it was a week I'll never forget.
My best friend at the time had met a boy on the last night we were there who she continued to see for over a year afterwards, I got into a physical fight with another best friend which ruined the friendship and made the entire week a struggle, and spent one day at the dentists office for the third friend to get her tooth fixed, which she knocked out during a slip and fall. It was a week of nonstop events, good and bad, and after it was all said and done, things were severely changed.
The best friend that met the boy and I weren't hanging out like we used to. I got a new apartment with a new roommate and it seemed like I hardly saw her anymore. That saddened me a LOT. I couldn't grasp the fact that things were not going to be like they used to be. So many things in my life had changed at a rapid pace and I didn't know what to do about any of it.
Come May, my friend Whitney had asked Sam and me to go camping with her and float the Buffalo River (in Arkansas). She said she would be with her cousin, who I knew from the summer before, so I was interested and said yes and this is when the adventure begins...
Whitney had gone with her cousin on Friday night. She told me the campsite she was at and what time to meet and where so we could follow her the next morning, but that was it. The last time I heard from her was around 10:30.
Sam and I woke up early Saturday morning because we were supposed to meet up with Whitney in a town called Marble to follow her to the campsite, I have never been to the Buffalo before. We set out in Sam's tiny, two door Civic, GPS in hand, and bags packed to float the river and camp that night. I was so excited (I'm such an outdoorsy kinda girl). I still had not heard anything from Whitney and was unable to get a hold of her.
We arrived in Marble at around 8:30am like we were supposed to. There was no sign of Whitney anywhere. I still couldn't reach her on her phone, and we didn't know if she was even coming. We waited for 30 minutes and still no show. We decided, since we had already driven this far, to keep going. I knew the name of the site they were staying at, and I knew what kind of car her cousin drove, so that was our plan, to find them ourselves. Sam was driving, so I navigated with the GPS on where to go, but deep in the woods, we could only go so far before we were starting to get lost.
We arrived in a little, bitty town called Ponca and immediately found a Buffalo River Info Center (luckily!). We stopped there and I asked one of the workers for directions to a specific campsite called Kyle's Landing. She drew us a map, explained exactly where to go and we were on our way again. Remember, we are in a small, two door Civic. It was time to go off roading.
By the time we found Kyle's Landing, it was around 10am. I remembered Whitney telling me they were planning to head out to the river around that time, so I was getting really nervous. We entered the campsite and started driving around, looking for the only thing I could think of that would help us, the jacked up, red Jeep Cherokee that her cousin drives. The first place we looked, we found it! Nathan (Whitney's cousin) was standing with several other guys, but Whitney was no where to be seen. We started honking and I yelled out the window to get their attention. It was such a close call, but we actually made it!
A minute later Whitney comes out of the woods and runs over to us. Apparently they reason they had not left yet is because of her. What a blessing in disguise. We met all of the boys in the group and packed into the cars to head to the river. Sam and I crammed into the back seat of a truck and that's when I met Mike.
At first, we didn't even like each other. He had preconceived notions about me, and same goes for me about him. He was annoyed that Sam and I had arrived and didn't even want us there. So I poked fun at him for the car he drove and the fact that he was wearing rolled up khaki shorts to float a river. Let's just say it was a funny start.
We ended up in the same canoe. Dan (a friend of Mike's) was in front, followed by Whitney, me, Sam, and then Mike. 5 people in the canoe - it was definitely an adventure.