I was sitting quietly, telling myself that the odds of winning were stacked against me. I knew four in a group was a bit much to ask since only ten permits will be given away that morning. The guy next to me got a little excited when he was given the number 13, and #18 was handed to me. I didn’t think anything of having 18, but I felt my life’s been pretty lucky. I’ve been through this process once before, sitting precisely in the same room, remembering that feeling of losing out, and I was prepared to lose out again.

I don’t know what was going through my mind when the first two winners were drawn, and then the second two winners were called, and later, the third two winners were announced. Only four spots left, and I was already preparing myself to say, it was worth a try fellas. Then number 18 was called, in disbelief I just raised my hands, I wanted to jump in celebration, but from the outside, I probably looked pretty stoic, like I’ve won so many times before. The ranger said, that’s a group of four folks, at that moment I could hear the air swoosh out of the room, and I knew how everyone felt while shuffling out, but I felt amazing that my dreams finally came true!