This is where I spent last weekend. Well, not standing in that specific spot with a beer in my hand the entire time, although one of those things might still be true…😁
Ah camping. The great equalizer.
Upside: Peace, quiet, communing with nature, hiking, clear rushing creeks and towering trees. Oh, and absolutely no cell service. You couldn't even hum a few bars.
The absence of electronic connections was palpable, and made room for more primitive forms of communication. It was like having a direct land-line to my inner self, whose still small voice is so fragile it is often needlessly drowned out by the noise of modern life.
Down side: This campsite didn't even have running water, unless you count the creek underneath the bridge I was standing on in the picture. Nope. Just one outhouse with a pit toilet for seven campsites.
Granted, it was a lovely and well constructed outhouse, but still – the commercial-sized pump bottle of hand sanitizer I purchased at Walmart certainly saved our bacon – and by the way, boy did we eat a lot of bacon… Needless to say, the camping French Press came in pretty handy. I mean, primitive is one thing, Neanderthal is quite unnecessary 🙂
It really is the little things in life…
The campground was on tribal land that also happens to be an open range area, so there were literally cows wandering around the woods and sometimes even the campsites and trudging through the creek. It was crazy, all of a sudden we would start hearing cowbells jangling and three or four enormous animals would be walking towards you. It was a bit surreal.
I took a couple of amazing hikes and a lot of really great pictures. Hiking was interesting because you had to look down at your feet almost constantly to avoid the cow pies, even on the steepest slopes. We hiked up to the top of one of the mountains that appeared to be just covered with evergreens, but when we got up there it had flattened out into a gorgeous meadow. (my friend Jason took this picture)
Unless you flew over it or intentionally hiked up to it, you would have never known that meadow was there. I started to think about what it would be like to live up there and be self-sustaining and completely unplugged. Unaware of who was in the running for running for President. Or terrorism. Or Tinder, for that matter. Just blissfully going about your own business of living, making your way in the world day-by-day. Gathering food, water, tending to animals and gardens and respecting the land.
Of course, that's silly. No one gets to be completely unplugged anymore. But once in a while it is kinda nice. Connecting on Facebook or Linked In is way different than connecting out here, and it needs to be defined in multiple ways in our lives.
Sometimes we just need to be with the earth, the sky, the open land, the mountains, the water, and maybe most importantly, our fragile hearts whose whispers are often trampled by the stampede of culture vying for our attention. It's not surprising to me that 85% of all adults interviewed who consider themselves to be relatively “well-adjusted” human beings, camped as children. Nature is a vital connection we often miss.
Sometimes, you just have to be intentional about it. Sometimes that means living first and writing second. Sometimes, you just have to follow your feet.
Sometimes, you need more cowbell…