Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sixty, Single, and Soloing

by Deb Baker (aka Hannah Reed)

Solo camping, that is. I had such a fun time camping with friends that I put together my own gear and
last weekend took off for what would be three days by myself in a state campground. I was a little anxious. What if the tent wouldn't go up? What if the propane stove wouldn't fire up? Lots of what ifs.

So I decided to make reservations at a park within an hour's drive. Just in case I had to bail.

The tent went up, the stove started up, all my fears were alleviated. Except the ones I hadn't even considered.

"Pick a site near other campers," 'they' told me. "Think safety."

So I selected a site very carefully. How was I supposed to know that a bunch of dads and a kazillion boyscouts would be right next to me?  (note for the future - avoid group camp sites.) The kids made noise all day and the dad's took over in the evening.

The next issue was bathrooms. Women like to have them nearby. Although the campground map didn't show exactly how far from my site to the toilets, I was smart and picked the closest one possible. Geez, they really are right there, I sort of thought while pitching my tent. The first night wasn't too bad, but the wind must have changed by morning, because the aroma...yes, they were pit toilets...was as bad or worse than what this little guy can dish out. (Note for the future - flush toilets only)

Did I mention the abundance of wildlife? Isn't he cute?

Oh, and the temperature plummeted to 41 degrees by early morning. While I made coffee on my trusty camp stove, and even through the fog, I could see my breath. That's always fun. Actually, I could still see it several hours later.

I made it twenty-four hours. Then, after the weather report predicted rain throughout the next night, I bailed. And watched it pour buckets from the comfort of my home - all that night and far into the next day, and decided to call it quits for this year.

Can't wait to go again in 2014.
The Irish/Scottish/Whatever the heck I am, don't give up when they are challenged.
Stay tuned.