I like being alone. Alone with my thoughts, away from people and civilization, I’m comfortable with solitude. I don’t consider myself antisocial, I can hob nob with the best of them. I just find the longer I am around people, the more drained I feel. It’s like the life force is being sucked out of me, albeit at a very slow pace. I think that’s why I have gravitated to solitary jobs like truck driving. My daily interactions with other people are brief, and I feel like I’m in my little cocoon of a cab while going down the highway, a slight separation that makes it tolerable. Does that make me the “Weird Guy?” Maybe, but I’m ok with that.
As a young man I used to go camping alot. I’ve told you about one of my crazy escapades at Tumbledown Mountain. Many wonderful memories fill my mind of adventures, some good and some bad, all in Tumbledown field or at the pond up top. The best camping trip I have ever had to date was at the top, forever etched in my minds eye with the clarity of yesterday.
I also used to camp on Blackcat Mountain by my home in Poland Maine. I spent almost every night up there one summer. I was young then and heavy in the drug culture, and I came very close to dying on that mountain one night. My so called “Friends” 40 feet away, oblivious to my condition. Close call indeed.
Its been 23 years since I have been camping. The last time I went was on my first wedding anniversary with my wife, sister, and my folks at Tumbledown field at the base of the mountain. That was also the last time I have been to the top. Because my wife did not like camping, along with other life distractions, the one escape I loved above all others came to an end. I sold all my gear and became someone other than my true self.
Since then I have tried other distractions to “Recharge the Batteries” as it were, but nothing can compare to the feeling of being out in nature, away from the stress of modern life. Away from the demands of work, the endless miles and bad weather driving. Cooking breakfast on a campfire, the smell of fresh coffee, Vinny begging for bacon. Paddling a canoe on a flat calm lake at sunrise, no sound of cars or boats. Watching an Eagle wrest his breakfast from the waters in front of you, a moose enjoying the fresh plants from the shallows. Nothing can compare to that time spent in the outdoors. Nothing has ever meant more to me then my time in the woods.
I told you recently about all the new gear I have been buying. Well it’s time to put it to use! I have decided to go camping in a remote area of Maine for labor day weekend. Since this is a trial run of the gear and my recollection of past skills, I have reserved a campsite at South Arm Campground on Lower Richardson Lake. They have a campground for motor homes tents and trailers, but they also have remote campsites as far as 17 miles up the lake that can only be accessed by boat!
The remote site I reserved is across the narrow part of the lake from the main campground, but just an easy 1/4 mile paddle. Vinny and I will spend 3 nights and 4 days alone with nothing but what I bring in the canoe. No phones, no internet, no electricity, no running water, and best of all…NO PEOPLE!
I can’t tell you how exited I am! Just thinking about the trip is making me feel young again. I can feel the pull of the Maine woods all the way down here in Virginia. It’s been to long, and I’m very tired. Just a few more days!