I took off to the woods. I needed a reprieve, to be as one, to pay attention to the here and now. I needed to smell pines, deal with what is in front of me and be natural. I went up to a familiar secret spot. I knew of a flatter spot up on the hill above. I envisioned myself there, legs crossed next to my tent, eyes closed meditating, fool on the hill, centered, grounded, myself.
There is something very different about camping alone in solitude.
I grab my backpack, shoes and a sarong wrap out of the back seat and head around a hillside. One hundred feet off of the road, I’m done with the sarong and smelling pine air.
I find the spot, but it isn’t at all flat. I begin a search of the whole area for something better. There’s a quarter mile, or more, around here and this is going to need to be it?
I find a spot hidden behind some trees, but something isn’t just right. I want to be able to leave my stuff, and just walk away. This has been envisioned as stealth camping, but hidden in plain sight. It doesn’t fit. Somehow, I’m attached to that vision on that hillside.
I leave the search to make do at the original objective.
It’s early. I’m not falling asleep. This isn’t the best spot to nest, just the best around. I eventually lay back and watch the sun going down. It has disappeared behind the mountain way before its setting time. I begin to climb the steep slope, rising higher than I already am. I know from up on the peak, I could see the rest of the world …