Copyright - 1999 - Les Doll - All rights reserved
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 "untrodden" expanses.
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 grin.
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 "d."
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 good companions.
The saga will continue ... stay tuned for the next exciting episode coming soon!