Goodness gracious, this update to my camping trip has taken forever. I'm back, now, still digesting my experience. I had the time of my life up there, in downeast Maine. I feel so comfortable off the grid. Where do you feel most comfortable? We all have that place where we feel most ourselves, unpressured, at peace.
This year, I experimented with new behavior. Which is to say, I didn't totally keep to myself. Mostly, yes, but not totally. I met scads of people - well, a dozen or so, who invited me to share campfires, drinks, card games, parties, the study of green crabs, concerts, a writing workshop and local food lecture. I declined the card games and the parties, but accepted the invitations to check out the green crabs, attend jazz and chamber music concerts, participate in a writing workshop, sample local food, share drinks and campfires and s'mores. I made new friends who live in Maine.
A woman camping alone is indeed a rare thing. So rare, in fact, that I've only seen it once in the eight years I've been doing it. This year, I countered my embarrassment at being seen alone with the fantasy that my independence may just set an example for the ladies I encounter. I think I sparked a vision for a young lady, by the way she eyed my bike and my camper. To all the couples I see: let's say one of you dies. Does that mean your love of camping gets snuffed out, too?
Can you beat this beauty? I will camp until I can camp no more. I figure I have 15 years ahead, for I see people close to 80 enjoying the experience. It might be wise to cut down on my solo wilderness trekking, though. I do admit I should have brought a cell phone and maybe my pepper spray when I hiked in two miles to pick blueberries. I did bring my camera, in case a brown bear ambled by. Maybe I will cut back on my jogging down deserted country roads. I do bring my pepper spray for the beastly dogs that nip at my heels. Maybe I will shorten my bike rides round Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.
BUT NOT YET