This year several guys have asked me if I like camping. The first one does not like camping himself as he prefers a hot shower at the end of a day outdoors. The second one enjoyed camping. He disclosed via txt before we even met that he has an STD, which ended his opportunity with me and added to my hard limits plus ended my time on dating apps. The third guy asked me about camping a week ago and all that has been on my mind for a week was getting out of Phoenix into the wilderness.
Thankfully my friend with Jenny with Women on Adventures pointed me towards the Mogollon Rim where camping reservations are not required. Last week, several people expressed concern about me heading into the wilderness solo with Merlin. I simply replied every time that Merlin would not let anything happen to me. He’s a really good guard dog. As people expressed concern, other girls expressed their love of solo camping as well. This encouraged me that it was in fact a good idea.
When I shared with my Mom that I was going camping, she said, “You did not get that from me and you barely got it from your Dad.” My Dad’s idea of camping was the cabin that the Children’s School took over for one weekend every year. He drove me in his Porsche with a stop at Dudleys. Clearly a different experience.
Yup, my love of sleeping under the stars in the woods is probably one of the relics from the relationship as we camped a bit during the 16 years althought the last time we camped together was for my birthday in October of 2010. It was an great trip by the Russian River. A very different trip with a box of $30 s’mores from my favorite chocolatier, Recchiuti.
While the trip was good, it ended with torrential downpour at 5am. We packed up a wet sleeping bag, tent, etc at record speed. We took the scenic route home, which was enjoyable. Then we unloaded the car and put the wet sleeping bag inside, which Arthur promptly pissed all over. Needless to say, we did not camp again.
I was a bit surprised by my overwhelming desire to camp this week. Thankful to the friends that helped me come up with my camping list of things to bring. In the last lifetime, I created a box that had everything needed to go camping.
I am that organized person that does things like that, but that box as with the rest of the camping gear went with the ex. For this trip, it was important to me to handle almost everything myself. The only thing I borrowed was a cooler from my neighbors.
Camping List: toilet paper (thanks Lucky15), sleeping gear (I opted for a spare down comforter and a pillow), lantern (thanks Karyn), chair, cooler…
Discovered en route that toothbrush, toothpaste, and Purell were also necessary. Also grateful that I packed a swimsuit.
After breakfast with my business partner and her son, I hit the road with no map just a general idea of where to go – head to the end of Shea and take the highway north.
I chose a random turnoff into the Coconino National Forest where I discovered epically good dirt roads perfect for my love of driving.
After a considerable amount of driving relatively fast on dirt roads, I was ready to find water for a dip.
The first lake did not look good for swimming, so we kept going until we discovered Kohl Lake.
While it was decidedly busier than the places we used to go in Yosemite, I took my Chacos and Merlin around to the other side of the lake for our own private alcove.
We enjoyed lunch lakeside before hitting the road to find a place to camp. We finally headed down a rocky fun road to a super private campsite. The only people that passed thru were on dune buggies and they left quickly.
I connected my iPod to the bluetooth speaker. Mer and I enjoyed rocking out to music while watching the sun set. We were both conked out early after an adventure filled day.
Solo camping and this year is finding comfort in being alone. Enjoying the flexibility that this new life brings. Amazing Day by Coldplay played on the iPod on the drive home and it is true for me now.
The irony is not lost on me that I camped off Dick Hart Ridge.
Also, tell me I can’t or shouldn’t this year and I am probably going to do it.