I love camping. I used to do it as a kid on the beach with my family. Sandy-humid camping was frustrating at times but also stress free when there was no rain. Winter camping is a different story. I have camped in the middle of winter before but not alone and not in the northwest where the month of November is so very wet. The kind of wet that sips through your sleeping bag and keeps your toes confused with cold sweat.
I arrived in a campground outside of Klamath Falls National Park in Oregon around 5:30pm. Two RVs already there but only one tent. My tent. The temperature was mild while the sun was out but by 7:30pm dampness took over the space with a daring and freezing cold attitude, measured at 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
My only plan was to read Miranda July’s latest: The First Bad Man, so I climbed into “bed” holding on to her words and a bottle of whiskey. Soon, I decided that my fingers were too cold to hold onto the book and/or the flashlight replacing my broken headlamp. I thought to be sleepy enough to call it a night, so I did. I woke up feeling that it was probably still too early to watch the sunrise. I glanced at my phone and shivered at the “9:00” glowing on the screen, like a lonely ghost telling me we had a full night ahead of us.
Since the whiskey didn’t work, I decided to eat the chocolate that I packed. All of it. I read articles on my phone so I would not have to worry about lighting Miranda’s wacky words. I learned that “Adidam” even though considered cultish by many, has not been officially established as such on the internet. I learned that the ego is an exciting topic of discussion and a never ending conversation for philosophers around the world and for decades. As the night progressed, I played with the idea of Mister Ego not existing but being only a mystery designed to keep us entertained. I eventually fell asleep. The kind of sleep that is not really sleeping but more like sleepy waiting.
In the morning I had a stiff neck and my tent was covered by a thin layer of ice and snow. I felt as fresh and you would expect I looked. I ran the car so that the 15 year old engine would defrost its shell and eventually I drove away with a new respect for myself and nature.
Every sight I saw that day was more magnificent than the sights I’d seen the day before. I thought about the gear I borrowed and kept me from freezing; I remembered the salad that kept me from hunger on a fireless night. “Little dolphin” which is what I call the ford focus, could not have come back into my life at a better time, thanks to Jonas. And for all the other people that kept my mind busy during a long drive, I could not help but feel incredibly thankful.
Solo camping is the same as camping alone but camping alone is not at all lonely when you are surrounded by love.