As would be expected for an orientation, we did a lot of ice breakers, including my favorite "common ground" where one person stands in the middle of the circle and says something about themselves and anyone else who has that thing in common with them runs into the center and has to find a new place to stand. The person who doesn't find a spot is now in the middle and repeats the game. I'm pretty good at the running part so I actually never got in the middle, although I had some ideas of things to say if I had been last (such as gone abroad, have a dog, etc.). Along with name games and ice breakers, we also watched a few presentations given by our leaders on safety, hygiene, and policy. Even though they weren't as exciting as the games, they were important things to go over and understand before we set off.
For dinner we went to St. Mark's Church, also in Portland, and had an amazing meal generously prepared for us by members of the church. The place was newly renovated and absolutely gorgeous. The road out to it was also beautiful and a part of the Old Port half marathon course that I ran two summers ago. I couldn't be happier to be starting this trip in Portland.
For the night we are staying at the church where I met everyone, sleeping in the aisles on our thermarests and in our sleeping bags.
I've really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the group so far. There are lots of fun ideas that people have for things to do as we cross the country that I'll keep you posted on. For now though, I am exhausted--despite the fact that we didn't even bike today--so I'm going to call it a night and tomorrow I'll explain more about the details I've learned about the trip and other fun random stories.