Copyright - 1999 - Les Doll - All rights
Well, here we are, my trusty canine friend and I, alone
on this excursion into our private wilderness. My life companion and camping
partner has pressing needs to be elsewhere, so I will be doing this trip "solo".
However, I do not mind this chance to be by myself, to search out the benefits of
ones own company, without the distractions of human interactions. I think a person
has to be alone once in awhile to appreciate the silence of ones own thoughts,
although this condition is not natural for the modern man.
The dust of the road accumulates in layers on the dash
of the van, it is very dry this July, and forest fires are rampant in the area. The
forests are tinder dry and extreme caution must be observed when venturing into the
Our destination lies just ahead, beyond the next few
bends of the road, but I pause on the side of the road, just to breathe in this
mountain air. Also, the temperature gauge in this old van has risen, alarmingly,
during the climb and the old girl needs a break.
The dog is more than happy to escape the hot confines
of the van and bounds happily among the weeds and brush on the roadside. Some of
the tensions of being "human" drain away as I watch her enjoy the freedom of this
fenceless and leash free terrain.
Sometimes I envy her ability to live life to the
fullest, to be able to appreciate the moment with no thoughts of the future to
intrude upon that enjoyment. Her needs are simple and uncomplicated – sufficient
food, the company of her "pack" (us), and whatever amount of freedom that she is
allowed. This is her heaven and she is happy.
I, on the other hand, have serious relaxing to do, and a
very short time to do it in. The dog responds to my come here whistle and we are
off down the road.
Midsummer twilight’s are lengthy in this latitude and
allow me to gain access to my favorite campsite with enough light to get things set
up. A couple of levels on the dashboard and the driver’s door tell me when the van
is more or less horizontal. I roll open the cargo door, toss out the portable
table, lawn chair and similar equipment, while the dog checks out the lake shore
and reports back to me with a wildly wagging tail, and an ear to ear doggy
The next dilemma presents itself, to whether:
- start the necessary campfire
- unload the boat for a possible late evening fishing trip
- do all of the above
- do none of the above
Since I am "solo" this trip and it is, after all, my day off, I opt for option
Taking a cue from my canine companion, I go exploring –
striving to capture the scents and odors of the summer breezes that so entices her
nose. My olfactory senses are no match for hers, but I do detect hidden memories of
other good times, in the aroma of this July evening. Mild winds, warm water and
The saga will continue ... stay tuned for the next exciting episode coming soon!