25 Strangers, 1 Cabin, and A New Reality Show (not really)

Royal Gorge, California, US

I looked at ‘There’s no memory card’ warning displayed on my camera and felt mildly irritated.

When else would we find ourselves sharing a cabin with 23 strangers during a Valentine’s Day weekend?

Oh wait, we do this all the time. Every year as a matter of fact.

And no, we don’t belong to an orgy cult or anything like that.

A recipe for a bad reality show?

Meeting a bunch of random strangers off the internet to spend a cross country skiing weekend together sounds like a recipe for a (very bad) reality show. But each time we do this, our concerns have always been unfounded.

Playing charade
The next reality show idea? 25 strangers and a cabin? Maybe not.

The 25 of us belong to a meetup group (check out meetup.com) that organizes backcountry outings several times a month. This particular group happen to consist of people who hard core hikers: people who can hike longer than we can, who can hike further than we can, and people who’ve hiked in places we’ve never even heard of.

In short, people who make Jack and I feel like a couple of whiny-wussies.

Meet the cast

But each and everyone was more than just a hiker/trekker/skier…

We met a self-made millionaire who have spent most of the year backpacking the remote trails of the Sierras and the world.

We met a world traveler cum doctor cum PhD holder.

We met a couple who insist that ‘Bionic Woman’ is the best TV show ever made.

We fell in love with Kathleen Turner in ‘Romancing the Stone’.

We had a what seemingly to be a never-ending potluck (the food just kept coming).

We were all terrible at ping-pong.

We drank copious amount of wine (26 bottles total, I think).

It was the most fun that a group of 25 random strangers off the internet could possibly have together.

No crazy hook ups, no Jerry Springer inspired fist fights, no bachelor/bachelorette to fight over (well, ok — maybe one bachelorette), or contest to win plastic surgeries.

Cross country skiing from last year's meetup
Cross country skiing from last year's meetup

Just too much food, too much wine, travel-inspired conversations between 25 strangers in 1 very neat cabin. Too tame for a reality show — but that happens to be the way Jack and I like our social scenes to be.

What’s the most fun have you ever had with a group of strangers?

13 Replies to “25 Strangers, 1 Cabin, and A New Reality Show (not really)”

  1. Very cool! I've heard of meetup.com and have never tried it. Sounds like great fun. My husband and I are actually starting our own weekend travel company for experiential tours, kinda like meetup but more niche. You guys had quite a weekend, but consider this a cast of characters for a book?

  2. Sounds like fun! We have regular travel blogger tweetups in NYC but I've never been on a destination meetup (unless you count TBEX).

  3. This is the second time this week I have seen meetup being a good thing. I wonder how many people use it here in Colorado.

  4. Midnight full moon yoga group? That definitely sounds interesting… I wonder if we'd be able to stay awake during 'child' pose.

  5. I will have to check out meetup.com. Sounds like a great way to find yourself in situations you might never consider or know about.

  6. I LOVE meetup.com!!! I'm a member of a few groups, especially when I was vegan. One of my favorites is am midnight full moon yoga group, so much fun! Sounds like you had an incredible time.

  7. Looks like a great time! I will admit that I was a huge Bionic Woman fan and loved Joanne Wilder (aka Kathleen Turner) in Romancing the Stone. That was just one of my favourite movies and Michael Douglas was the coolest. What a great snowfall you had too!

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