In 1996 I left Indiana and my (then) abusive husband, and found a new place to call home in the mountains of Colorado. It was October when I arrived in the mountains, so I stayed in a motel room that winter. Then in the last week of 1997, I decided to set up my tent and camp for the summer. I was lucky enough to meet someone who owned property that abutted the national forest, so I set up my camp right on the edge of their property, just feet from the national forest. There was no fence, and nature knows no boundaries, so this was simply a way of staying in one spot all summer legally.
This is an excerpt from my journal written in May 1997, near the beginning my solo camping experience.
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Surely I am at this moment one of the luckiest people on earth. I am sitting on a knoll overlooking some breathtaking scenery in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
I awoke this morning with the warmth of sunshine penetrating my tent and warming my body. A gentle breeze made the rain fly flap gently and the sound of birds singing shattered the otherwise, almost silent mountainside. Outside my tent I watched and listened to a pair of woodpeckers busily hopping from tree to tree feeding on insects. Their black and white feathers and red caps stood out like jewels in the sunshine. Other sounds come to my ears. The gentle breeze in the pine trees, and the sound of the creek passing hurriedly through the valley floor below me, the stream sides being washed of debris due to the heavy snow melting up in the spectacular mountains.
I feel I have waited a lifetime for this. To be out here, deep in nature, for an entire summer. It is a dream I have always had, and the dream lulled me to sleep when I was laying next to my abusive husband; the dream carried me away to another land, place and time. And now it is coming true. After ten years of hell, my healing has begun. Right here, in these beautiful mountains.
Yes ~ I am very lucky, I can ask for no more.
Roxy ~ a Nomad for Nature ~ From my 1997 journals