I awake to the loud drops of rain beating agains the ground…and I am instantly excited. Yes, I am about to go camping, and camping in the rain doesn’t sound particularly fun, but my excitement comes with hope that the rain will deter some people from going camping today or at least delay their arrival time. I am about to get ready and drive to a first come first serve campsite and this rain is increasing my changes of getting lucky today. Truthfully though, I am not really worried… And, I know the rain will dry. So, up and at it. Coffee and breakfast to go…gotta hit the road. Bags already packed - load car and head out.
I arrive when it is still pouring rain- end up having plenty of sites to choose from. I climb up the hill scouting the sites out and decide on a site where my tent can back right up to the sounds of a trickling stream. Don’t mind if i do. Grab my stuff and bring it up to camp… and as I do its like magic - the rain starts to dissipate… and the sun starts to shine - perfect - I can set up camp before I go hiking making for a far more relaxing return. I pitch my tent - so little and cute… makes the camp site look so big. I pack up my hiking bag- make sure to include lunch and off I go..
Initially I knew I would find a trail to hike on and spend my day moving - but I had NO idea what I truly had in store for the day. 4.5 miles doesn’t sound so bad in each direction - and to get to the beach makes it worth it! Despite the peaking sunshine at camp - I quickly realize the weather even slightly outside camp is still foggy, overcast, and rain… but its warm enough and beautiful in its own way - so its still great. I start off with a solid steady pace… Reminding myself that while the beach destination sounds great - I have all day - and every step of this journey counts - this present moment matters - and to look up and around and take it all in. I can’t see through the trees… the thick fog made for moments where I could hardly see the next switchback right ahead… it really allowed me to focus on just being right where I was. The further through this hike I got the more I realized the sheer intensity of it - it was very downhill, making for a not so challenging hike down - but recognizing the journey it would create coming back up. I think to myself, maybe I can call a cab, and laugh - that’s a joke. The trail is crowded today - there is a race - lots of stepping aside to let people through… everyone is very nice. I can’t see so at no point do I have any idea how far I have gotten or how far to go… until I get to the bottom…
The beach is absolutely beautiful today… the beach - the sounds of the ocean waves - the smell of salt in the air - the feeling of sand in my toes - its something magical - a magical heaven on earth.. It’s my happy place… I love all of nature - but nothing compares to the feeling I feel at the beach. I can get lost here for hours - please don’t take me away… I find a peaceful spot to lay out my blanket - I eat - I write - I read - I stare out into nothing and everything all at the same time. I get lost in thought and no thought all at once… I get in the water - the very cold water - its invigorating - feels amazing against my tired legs… Hours go by - and a part of me strongly desires to sit here until the sun sets - but I know that will make for an insane journey back to camp - a very hungry lady & difficulty in getting night camp set & fire going, and food cooked…So eventually its time…
And so the upward part of the journey begins!!!! I am excited… I am … despite the fact that I might have strongly considered the bus back up I am excited with my decision to honor my commitment and complete what I set out to do…I pack up - strap the load on my back and go… I decide that my goal is to maintain one steady pace the whole way up - with little to no rest… focusing on my breaths.. step breath in step breath out. I knew it would be challenging - but its definitely rigorous…Initially I am coming up through switch backs and trees… eventually I come into my first open area where I look out and see nothing but gasping beauty all around - I can see the coast for miles - the water for days - the bright blue sky & sun basking down. I didn’t get this view on the way down because of the fog - I had NO idea what I had in store for my eyes for the walk back - and I think to myself, “thank goodness I committed to coming back on foot” I would have missed it ALL!!! The whole way up - I notice the creeks, the streams, the trickling water all around - the lush green - the crisp cool air in the trees, the warmth of the sun in the open peaks… It was a steady mix all the way up of shade and sun…forest feel and then the overlook of the ocean. Moments of thought, enclosed by many more moments of no thought at all - just inhaling and exhaling with my steps - rhythmically moving up. I realize I enjoy moving meditation… Very few people on the trail this time of day - just me and mother nature… I kind of like it this way…
Back at camp - fire & food time!!! This is fun - I change - get comfy & let the evening festivities begin. I get my fire going - get my food started…and pick up a book… Good times - I read until I can’t see the words on the pages anymore… Then I do what is my favorite part of camping - stare into and through the fire for as long as I can hold my eyes open, mesmerized…
Next morning - I am eager to pack up camp & continue on - haul it all down to the car in one trip & drive back to the coast is the plan… coffee - food - beach sounds good to me… grab a coffee, grab my book, grab a spot in the sand…and delve into la la land.. hours go by…and now it is time to accomplish my final goal that I set out to accomplish on this adventure… make one friend… I have no idea how this will work itself out - but its funny how things just do… I scout out the cafe options for a good brunch meal…. put my name on the wait list and end up meeting two lovely ladies in line right behind me - we all decide we should sit together - so we can get seated faster…and we chat for an hour about life over delicious breakfast. It was awesome! Mission accomplished - scenic route home…. 36 hours to realize the true beauty that surrounds me - and what its all really for - remembering that I need to remember to do it more…. until next time!!!!