In a place like this, it’s impossible not to gaze in wonder at the beauty that surrounds you. The quiet, the stillness, the solitude – it’s always there, in the dark of night, in the early morning, at the end of each day. I get it now, why people speak so lovingly and with such enthusiasm for not just this particular place but anywhere that nature takes us, pulling us in, away from day to day worries, cares and concerns. When I was in my 30’s, a group of friends and I, with my young son, went camping and hiking several times throughout the year, exploring state parks, lakes and trails. Why is it that I let that go for so long? Our recent trip to Colorado has awakened that sense of wonder in me again. I yearn for it and find I’m happiest and most content when I’m outdoors, actively engaging with the natural world all around me.
My husband, knowing how much I enjoyed camping, proposed to me at an overlook at Bellevue State Park. It was the first and last time we used the new tent he purchased for the occasion. And then we got busy with graduating from college, starting our careers, buying a new house, remodeling, friends, family – our lives somehow got in the way of pursuing something that is simple enough to enjoy and yet we always maintained ‘sometime we’ll do that again’ but somehow we just never did.
Fall camping is my favorite time of year and we still have that tent. I don’t know that either of us wants to sleep on the ground anymore so a trip to ye old Bass Pro Shop may just be in order to check out more comfy options. Favorite memories are flooding my brain now: the sounds of the woods at night, hiking and exploration, great conversations (and fantastic meals!) around a roaring fire and being awakened by the songs of the birds in the trees. Lovely recollections and experiences so real and genuine that I’m actually stunned that I’ve failed to recreate them all these years since then.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~ Albert Einstein