You know the feeling? The urge to get away and unplug from the rat race? I had it pretty bad since March and finally carved out a little time to spend the night in the woods.
I arrived at the campsite about 4pm where some friends were already set up with their trailer. The temperature was a pleasant 72F with a slight breeze from the south. Sasha came along with me as usual, so I let her out right away so she could do her business. Meanwhile, I cracked open a brewski.
It was good to meet up with some old friends who I camp with every summer. We usually rotate our camping spots between two or three locations. On this trip, it was located off Lake Mary Road on FSR211 a few miles in. I usually set up my camp in the same spot away from the trailers and generators so I can enjoy the wind whispering through the pines. I especially enjoy hanging in my Eno hammock and taking an afternoon snooze! On this trip, however, there just wasn’t enough time.
I brought a couple of mini pecan pies for my hosts and greeted everyone after I set up camp, and they emerged from their afternoon siesta. Sasha was a bit shy as usual, but she quickly remembered who everyone was and was happy for all of the attention.
Shortly before dark, a few of us made our way over to some downed pine trees that appeared to have been struck by lightning. I wish I had taken a picture but was caught up in the happiness of being outside and breathing the cool, crisp air.
At nightfall, we all sat around the campfire and shared a meal of tacos and beer. Sasha had her bowl of chow and a couple bits from my taco shell. After dinner, we shared some funny stories, and all had a good laugh before retiring.
Before going to bed, I had planned to lay in the back of my pickup with Sasha and a sleeping bag to look up at the stars for a bit, but with the full moon, only the brightest of stars were visible. Oh well, maybe next time.
Around 2am I woke to find condensation dripping on my face. The temperature was in the low 40’s, so I should have unzipped the side vents of the tent for better ventilation but forgot. Luckily I had an extra pair of socks handy to wipe things down before nodding off again.
I woke up around 8am after a pretty good sleep and made a quick breakfast of boiled eggs, sausage, and coffee. It was really great to be eating breakfast in the woods with just the breeze and birds around me. No news. No phone. No computer.
After breakfast, I broke down camp, said goodbye to my friends and headed into Flagstaff. Sasha didn’t know it, but she was in for a bath at the local self-service dog wash. I always take her there before heading home, so she’s not itchy from the dust and pollen of the forest. After a good wash and dry, she was fluffy again but appeared a bit tired. I don’t think she slept very well.
By now it was lunchtime, so I stopped at a local establishment called Bun Huggers. I had a chicken sandwich with and a Michelob Ultra to wash it down. Good stuff!
The ride home was uneventful (always a good thing). Sasha was fast asleep in her bed in the back seat while I listened to some music and slowly started to return to reality.