My first time camping alone! A story in pictures! 2 min. audio of my VOICE inside..
The other day, I ~tried~ to go north about 4 hours to camp in the woods.
I have never camped alone before and I had to overcome a fear to push myself out the door, out of town, and into the wild....
I got about 30 miles out of town and got a flat tire. I really had two flat tires, but one had a slow leak that I knew about but seemed fine, and the other one deftly exploded like a silent-but-deadly fart on the road.
Tourism saves the day
I was lucky because I decided to stop by this place (below). If I had not pulled off the road, I may have rolled-over via lopsided tire , which would have been a shocker and not fun. And I mean, check it, this was was a good place to stop and be calm about a flat tire and contemplate the meaning of life , the universe, and everything for a second. This is the Garden of 1,000 Buddhas, created by Tibetan Monks as a place of peaceful contemplation:
I sat on the ground disturbing the peace with my electric pump, to see if the tire would hold at all, and called my brother who is in MN. He fixes cars. I always call him with car problems.
"Hi i have a flat tire in the middle of nowhere."
"Well, I am not coming!"
Har har, little brother.
Anyway, I was talking to him and then saw it was the valve. It had a big crack in it. Hopeless. I could have figured out how to change this tire to the donut spare in the trunk myself but just then a guy pulled up to help. I let him help. And it was good I did because my jack was jacked and so we used his.
Long boring story involving bolts that wouldnt come off and me hearing the guy maybe saying racist epithets under his breath at my tire (its Montana, Tibetan Buddhist Garden or not) I ended up driving back to my home city and sitting in a tire place for two hours waiting for them to fix it.
This is what a tire place looks like in Montana:
So I really hate the dumb tire place but I tried to be calm. For what is the real difference between the Garden of A Thousand Buddhas and the Store of a Thousand Tires? Its all just atoms and circles and things that help get us places.
I chatted in my phone to people. I waited. I looked out the windows. Etc. I considered the gross popcorn. I decided against it.
The tire people were real nice and cut some of the expense off, but I had to replace two valves and one tire... that put me out like $100 i was not planning to spend. Turns out it overdrew my bank account too but I didnt realize that till later.
I was so stubborn, I didnt want to think about all that stupid banking shit and money stress. I wanted to be in the woods. But it was getting late. After I paid, I got in my car that still faintly held the scent of engine oil on the clothes of the mechanic who had just turned it over to me, and headed to the road. I looked left toward my house. I looked right toward my escape plans. And i just bolted. I decided I simply could NOT go back home, so I just drove. I figured I would figure it out when I got there.
About an hour and a half later, I made it to this lake. Its a huge lake, like 88 miles around? And I decided, since it was getting close to dark, that I should just camp there. I stopped at a Safeway parking lot, looked up campsites, conferred with friends about good ones, bought some firewood, and headed to a spot.
It was real pretty, but still car camping. But still. A new experience for me and i wasnt going to be all snobby about the little parking spots and picnic tables. I was still in glorious Montana by a crystal clear lake in the eveningtime. However, I got all settled and these poeple near me were partying SUPER loud. And that was annoying. I tried to ignore them and looked at the trees
Since I am totally brilliant, I actually packed ear plugs. So I put them in, and made a fire.
And looked at the moon shimmering on the lake
I never ended up sleeping in the tent I borrowed and set up because the people were so loud and annoying. I actually slept in my car. But it was pretty nice, and I woke up in the morning to total silence, just me and the birds and the chipmunks who yelled at me when I walked over to the restrooms.
More weird mishaps occurred after that, but I will leave you with this poem, by William Butler Yeats. This is a 2 minute track . I want to add ambient music to it next and have asked a secret collaborator but you might know who i am talking about hahaha! Anyways, I am going to continue all this stuff in another post. For now, I would be honored if you would enjoy this poem with me, its really quite lovely and captures my feelings about the lake.
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I actually prefer car camping to sleeping on the ground in a tend. :-)
Lovely pictures! The moon on the lake is really cool!
Wow! I guess this is what happens if you are doing something that you're afraid of. It starts out with some mishaps that almost make you turn around. I love the fact that you manage to pull through and turn all these experiences that could be quite annoying ( if you only focused on the negative ) into a pretty awesome experience.
The pictures are awesome and your storytelling skills turned this into an actual adventure for us readers/ fanboys/ -girls too.
Wow what an adventure. I love solo camping! Nothing beats it for clearing out your head.
pretty awesome experience @dflo
That was some trip! Thanks for sharing that, @dflo :-) Love that picture of the moon shimmering in the lake... Nice poem too ;-)
Awesome post and pictures. I think even adventures where things go wrong are better than routine haha.
It's so beautiful where you live. I think I'd enjoy the drive even if I never made it to the campsite. And I'm sure there's no shortage of places to car sleep undisturbed around there. The fun of adventure lies in the unexpected. And somehow knowing you're on an adventure makes those inconvenient things feel like less of a pain in the ass lol. I guess that's what makes getting away so meaningful. Allows enough freedom from routine so you can think a little differently. But those getaways never feel long enough...
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