I met Steve eight months after I was widowed. In the tumult of grief and transition, he offered me something that was transformational – a chance to go camping. My husband and four kids and I did not camp together. I hadn’t been camping for years, but I consider myself a lifetime Girl Scout. Getting back into the outdoors, practicing self-reliance and adaptability, and surrounding myself with the beauty and non-judgmental, non-moral embrace of Nature was just what I needed to consider Life worthwhile again. Steve’s style of camping has a distinct difference from mine: his motto is not “Be Prepared”. His motto is “Be Open”. My instinct to make lists and consult maps was challenged at the very outset. We spent the first hour of one of our early trips parked at the curb outside my house in a deep philosophical discussion of what it means to be on an adventure.
Steve also introduced me to the wonder of the National Forests of the U.S.A. There is no fee for camping in the National Forests, but there are Leave No Trace rules. A world of freedom opened up for us when I discovered we could easily make camp, cook, clean up, sleep and deal with personal waste (!) outside of crowded developed campsites.
We have, however, depended on either his former Toyota or my late husband’s Honda to transport all our gear.I would love to be able to experience the freedom of going into even more remote wilderness areas, either with a 4-wheel drive vehicle with higher clearance or a backpack. (The latter would be more realistic if I were ten years younger and in better shape…)
Wehave enjoyed the diversity, the grandeur, and the autonomy of places not dominated by human impact. I find those sacred spaces truly inspiring… and extremely photogenic.
The Green River, Kentucky
(I had to include that last photo just to prove I’m not kidding about the Girl Scout bit…) I thank Amy for sharing her inspirational Travel stories and for inviting us into this Travel Challenge.
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This is a wonderful post Priscilla. Thank you to Steve for helping you to begin your recovery from your grief. xx
Thank you, dear Helen. I will pass on your xx’s. 😉
Thank you, Priscilla for sharing your stories of camping in wilderness areas. Love your last photo, you were not kidding… Camping is so much fun! We did a few times when we lived in Colorado. 🙂
Colorado has marvelous camping opportunities, and that’s where I first saw and fell in love with mountains. It will always have a special place in my heart.
I feel the same…
I too was a girl scout Priscilla, and there was a time when I loved camping. I might again enjoy it in perfect weather in the perfect place but I fear my “roughing it” days are over 🙂 Loved your story about the philosophical discussion LOL. And of course your images of such beautiful vistas!
I’m now 56 years old and still enjoy the fresh air and close-up experience with outdoors. I sleep on a floor of about 5 sleeping bags and several more Army blankets. My four-inch memory foam mattress topper for my bed at home was my gift to myself over the holidays. My old bones just need a bit more padding these days!
Aren’t you lucky to have Steve as companion to hit the road anywhere and see what the world has to offer. To be underneath that wide blue sky makes me think we are just a speck of dust. You go girl, keep on hitting the great outdoor with inflated mattress this time.
I am a lucky speck of stardust, to be sure. I like my plastic-free piles of wool and cotton just fine, even though they’re bulky. All good!
Priscilla, what fun reading your outdoor adventures and how much it means to you.
I also use to be a girl scout and still remember many nature excursions and established an ingrain love of animals; hard to forget the fun and learning adventures! Thanks for sharing.
I hope many more generations of girls are encouraged to go outdoors and learn, discover, and explore. Environmental education is absolutely essential for the future of our planet. Thanks for your visit!
Thanks for sharing more of your story. It is wonderful that you found love again after such heartbreak. Wishing you the best in 2019! More camping too! 🙂
Thanks for the good wishes!
These are wonderful. If you’re open, things happen as they should.
I used to be a sort of scout too. I loved the outdoors but hated the authoritativeness, as I would. It’s been ages since I slept outdoors but I always loved it, especially on the beaches when a swim was the first act of the day.
Happy 2019 in all regards!
Thank you for your wishes. Not being a great swimmer, I’ve never camped on a beach, but I did sleep outside on a hill with no tent when I was a Scout in High School. Just waking up to the sunrise outdoors is fabulous!
Priscilla, I love to read and see your adventures! For some reason I have not been receiving your posts. Hopefully that i now corrected!
Oh, I’m glad! I’ve only been posting one a week, so you probably haven’t missed much.