Camping Freely

What does camping freely mean? Whatever it is, I was determined to do it, as I went on a quick camping trip in the deep mountains of Idaho last weekend. I wanted freedom. From stress, expectations, and the emotional draining of my work.

As I drove from the sun-filtered valley to the frosted backcountry, I wondered why people do this. Why do they spend days, weeks, and hundreds of dollars to “rough it?”

If it’s to “get away from it all”, why do we insist on taking most of IT with us sometimes? All for the feeling of leaving it all behind.

People spend hundreds on camping and thousands on the equipment to achieve that feeling. I remember when I first started listening to Tony Robbins, he talked about one of the basic needs of everyone is variation. We need variety in our lives to combat boredom.

  • 1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
  • 2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
  • 3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
  • 4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
  • 5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
  • 6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others- Tony Robbins

Camping provides the variation and may increase connection to actual humans without technology. If we allow it to.

Whether camping, glamping, homeless or vacationing- people are still trying to meet their daily physical and emotional needs. In the safety of home, the physical needs are a bit easier; but take away a few comforts and it gets a little harder. That’s why so much of our vacation time is spent searching down food, and supplies- things we forgot.

I didn’t have any cell service on my camping trip and with my many kids and grandkids; and a son in rehab; I made the trip down the road every morning to get service to make sure everyone was ok. Other than that, it was nice to be free.

The second day I came down with a kidney infection. With no cranberry juice within 40 miles, I had only water to treat it. I realized that no matter what our plans there will always be new needs that arise. That’s why trusting in a higher power works for many people. But what it really did was force me to take care of myself. I spent the mornings sleeping and the afternoons reading.

As we rode around in the soon to be snow-covered ground; with my mind not cluttered up with the need to check social media or my blog for viewers; my thoughts were FREE to just roam. Like the moose we saw trudging through the trees, my heavy weights of worry I had been carrying were like the backdrop of a silent movie- still there but non-threatening, not all-consuming.

Everyone says nature is a grounder. It brings us back to center. It reduces the clutter in our mind because we have less obligations to worry about and more time to think about what matters. To the moose, all that mattered was getting food and water and staying alive. Even though we are not cavemen anymore, we really do spend our days meeting our needs.

My trip turned out to be a nice breather. We left a day early due to impending snow. Back into the groove of life where problems and worries remain but I had a little bit of heightened energy to face them. That’s what self- care does. Give’s our bodies time to catch up with our minds.

Here’s some pics from this trip and here’s my last one, if you missed it. Happy camping!

🏕️ 🏞🔦 ⛺ 🐂🦌🐻🌄🌌👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

First Rockhounding Trip in the Trailer

My husband and I have this little adventure thing we do when he’s home off the road.

We hunt rocks. Little ones, big ones. Crystals, quartz, amethyst, coral, vesuvianite- that I actually chopped out of the mountain myself!

When he’s on the road all summer, I usually go with a rockhounding group or drag my daughter or my grand kids with me.

I wrote a previous post about my adventures here, but this trip is the first with our new (to us) 5th wheel we bought last year.

I know it seems like a lot but if this would have been a hotel trip, this would be just the cost of the hotel. Plus, since this was our first time in the rig, we needed ‘stuff’.

Here we are on the way up the canyon over state highway 6. It’s quite a long drive but each end of it has some beautiful views- better in summer of course. This highway used to be one of the most dangerous in the US for accidents.

This first picture is looking south into the Sanpete Valley where I was raised. This north end is where the Thistle mudslide of 1984 happened, causing them to rebuild the road and blast through the giant rocks to connect to Utah & Carbon counties. The middle of the second picture is the mud that slid down and blocked the road causing a huge lake to form several miles south causing the evacuation of Thistle
One of the casualties of the thistle mudslide
It is quite a quaint little valley. When I show you the summer pictures in a few months you will see. My son was married in a beautiful back yard up this road.

Finally we hit the other end of the mountain. This is coming into Helper, an old coal mining town with so many old wooden and brick buildings that I can’t wait to go photograph soon. Here’s some pics of a ghost town close by that my daughter & I visited last year.

For now though, it’s time to fill up the 5 th wheel with fresh water. These guys at the oil shop were kind enough to let us use their hose. After, there seemed to be a strange dripping tho- but we wouldn’t discover this until a couple of hours later.💧 🌊💧🔧

A quick fresh brewed coffee hits the spot as the air is already feeling cooler.

Between stops, I’m enjoying this book about Corrie ten Boom. I might do a book review on it- if it’s even possible to buy anymore???

It’s getting late in the day and we still don’t know quite where we’re camping. We’re headed to The swinging bridge campground but we’re unsure how tight the roads get and if we can find a half circle campground for our long rig.

Later & later as we see the many camping spots already taken.

It doesn’t look like these guys could find a spot either.

Finally we found a beautiful spot, but it would be an hour trying to maneuver the 5th wheel & the 16 ft trailer holding the Razor into the soft sand.

Imagine our surprise when we finally, in the dark, open the door to our finally level rig and find the carpets completely soaked.
It seems the previous owner had cut the water hose under the sink pump. At first my husband thought it was to drain the pump for winter, but the more he thought about it, he decided it was to stick the hose into a gallon of antifreeze instead of filling the whole tank underneath with antifreeze.

Easy fix right? Not without any materials. My husband is a mechanic so he had plenty of tools but he’s not a plumber so he didn’t have a bunch of extra pipe or hose tucked away.

No worries, who needed that size socket anyway?

Ahhh time for bed. As we roll out our new memory foam mattress (remember the $345? We were surprised to find it ripped from inside the undamaged plastic in the undamaged box.

We needed to use it for the thin factory issued 3 inch trailer mattress so we finished setting it up.

Despite all that, the morning views were spectacular even with plastic on the wet carpet.

Now we were off to adventureland. This sparkly mound was full of selenite. Looked like a diamond hill when the sun hit it.

The razor ride was amazing!

They call these cinnamon buttes.

More trinkets

I love heart rocks and couldn’t resist this twisted stick ( just like a little kid I guess)
Finding heart rocks are good luck right?
Crystals growing right out of the mountain!
Didn’t get any spectacular ones this trip (except the cool crystals) but we have lots of spots to go back when we have more time.

A nice wind down sunset for the day.

This is after we found ANOTHER water leak under the water heater which soaked the other side of the carpet!

Home sweet home

Nature & Hunting Made my Son strong for LIFE

My son grew up with 2 brothers, a dad, a Grandpa, and many cousins and uncles who loved nature; camping, fishing & hunting.

He spent days, weeks and months navigating the trails and roads of the mountain ranges of Idaho.

They sat around the campfire eating hot dutch oven stew and talking about their days adventures.

They forged bonds of comradery & teamwork as they surveyed the land and forged through rough trails.

This was their tribe.

The goal was clear.

Hunting and tracking the deer and elk to provide meat for their families for the winters just like their ancestors before them.

My son was taught to respect the land and use it for the beauty it graciously offered.

He was taught to survive in the cold fall months for sometimes 8 hours a day while they planned endless attempts at tracking the magnificent creatures.
These animals tried to elude them the best they could, not knowing that their short life span would eventually take them with disease or famine.

My son learned that he could do anything if he could successfully track an animal in its home environment.

He learned that a huge mountain is nothing compared to the prize on the other side.

He learned that watching his cold breath in the early morning hours was all part of the game. When his fingers became numb from the cold he figured out how to get the circulation back by jumping in place or blowing his breath into them. He learned to bring hand warmers next time.
Years later this perseverance would benefit his addiction in more ways than I realized.

Thankfully most people couldn’t handle the sheer abuse & chaos that addiction forces a body & mind to endure. But my son learned that his amazing body could handle cold, wet, uncomfortable situations, as long as the goal was in mind.

He learned to be strong, independent, not to whine, and always be focused on the goal.

Even if the goal is now an evil drug who has him captured.

He knows his body is amazingly tough so the drug tells him he’s invincible.

He knows that the goal is more important than anything right now so the drug tells him the goal is to come on over to the smooth side. To be ‘numb’ and content -then everything will be alright.

He knows it takes teamwork to reach a goal so the drug’s evil powers tells him that shady people are his ticket.

He knows that soon he won’t be cold and hungry and tired so he’s willing to wait and do whatever the evil drug tells him to do.

When people say not to coddle the addict, I have to laugh a little because my son was never coddled.
When he became homeless after losing everything he had worked for for 10+ years, he knew he would survive. Tough love didn’t work on him because he was fiercely independent anyway.

When he was fired from his last job, he had no car, no house, no clothes and was in a town he hadn’t lived in for 6 years, yet he still figured out someone to call for a ride, begged for a bed & figured out what to do. He found people he had helped before and they were more than willing to feed him and give him a ride.

I would have collapsed in tears and begged to go to rehab.

But not my son. He’s very resourceful, even though he’s hurting inside. He feels the pain of disappointmeant and judgement enough to cut deeply into his rejected soul yet the drug has enough of a hold on his brain to tell him that’s it’s not his fault.
That he still doesn’t have to quit. All those people just don’t understand.

So he trudges on ….

Through the depths of this madness…

To find some peace, any peace from this battle raging inside his mind.

That’s the goal.
Peace & comfort.
Once he finds that, he will be ok for a minute.

His drug is like the campfire. Now he’s ‘safe’ and warm, he feels ‘ loved’. He’s with people who understand and accept him ….

He’s with his ‘tribe’.

Even if they’re all going down with the ship….