December 9, 2012 – Formerly published on a blog I had called A Free Spirited Woman. Obviously I was living in Mitzi then, my Mitsubishi Montero Sport SUV.
Each morning when I awake, I see the sun rise over a different landscape, than the view I saw the day or a couple of days before. Each evening, when I go to bed, I watch the sun set, and cast its glow on a different set of rocks, trees, cliffs, or whatever view I see out of the window.
At least right now, while I’m traveling.
Even when I repeat a camp spot the scene is forever changing. Clouds, wind, wildlife, stars; nature never holds still for long. She is full of surprises, and when I raise my head from the depths of my sleeping bag, and take the first peek of the morning through the window just inches from my face, I never know quite what I’ll see.
I always hope for clear skies and sun, but sometimes I see a sunrise that captures my breath, or a rabbit sitting nearby grazing on grass. This being winter, I’ve not seen much wildlife. It’s also the desert, and there isn’t as much wildlife around as in the Colorado mountains.
As I refuse to pay for a campground, I have to start looking for a spot to camp at least an hour, or sometimes two hours, before the sun sets, which at this time is around 5:15 PM.
I’m getting good at picking the right kind of dirt road, to go up in order to seek a dispersed camping spot. In the mountains these spots are found in the National Forest, out here in the desert, they are usually located on BLM land. I try to find roads that are fairly easy to drive on, as one of the things I dread is getting stuck in clay (which is what these dirt roads are) if it rains, or getting a flat and being too far away from people to get help IF I can’t get the tire off on my own.
I always try to find a spot with a view, so that even if I don’t get to see the view for long after parking, I will see it in the morning when I rise. I also try to find a spot that is level, so I don’t have to use rocks to level my vehicle for sleeping. Additionally, during this past week, I’ve made a huge effort to park my vehicle in a place where the suns warming rays will hit it as early as possible. So I’ve been paying attention to where the sun goes down, and then looking what is in an easterly direction from it. I found a nice spot tonight, but it was in the bottom of a canyon, and at 3:15 PM, it was already dark and very cold. No way I was camping there. Even in the spot I chose, it was 28 degrees when I parked at 4:40 PM. Brrrrrr.
Although I enjoy waking up to a different view so often, there is something comforting about returning to a spot that I’ve stayed in before. It feels a bit like coming home. It is familiar, and somehow it offers a sense of security. Perhaps that is why, if I return to the same area months later, I’ll often seek the same spot unless I am forced to seek a new one. I find that interesting.
Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature
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