I went to the woods for clarity.
Location: Near Mt. Hood off of Lolo Pass Road beside the Sandy River
Camp: Free National Forest Site
It’s good to be out of the city! It is my first time sleeping alone outdoors since last fall. Small winged bugs of all shapes and sizes hover near and far, sometimes smacking into each other, sometimes veering off quickly out of sight. The bearded moss sways on the limbs of the evergreens. The air is cool and pleasant; the sky is clear, promising stars later. I am the only human within the known distance.
I entered the forest for some time of reflection. I’ve become anxious lately, almost ready to burst at times. It is frightening how close I am to lashing out in everyday life now. Peace and tranquility is what I want. The monotony of the rushing river, the stillness of the forest, the unmoving weight of the mountain – all are normal, simple and uncaring.
As the darkness closes in, I get in my North Face Furnace 5 sleeping bag and breath. Every little rustle makes me think offhandedly of bears or axe wielding murderers. I like that. I enjoy freaking myself out. It’s good for a person to remember how weak and fragile he is in the woods – puts life into perspective I’d say.
6 hours later, I wake to the crescent moon and slight purple hues of the rising sun. I’m wide awake. I sit looking at the very early sunrise. It is crazy how clear my head is after a less than ideal amount of sleep. Back in the real world, I would be sluggish and slow but here, I am aware and crisp. That says something of the health benefits of this place.
The rest of the time at my river camp is spent reading, walking, and thinking. I finished reading The Wild Truth yesterday. While not as good as Into the Wild (1 of 5 of my Bibles) it is still a unique look at the consequences of growing up in a dysfunctional home – something I can relate to quite a bit. Book number 2 of 5 of my personal Bibles, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, is half way done by the time it’s ready to return to the city . Adventure, the open road and motorcycles are on my mind as I walk slowly down the trail back to the truck…
Wilderness therapy is the best form of therapy!