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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Plan?? There ain't no plan!

Yeah, camping trips rarely go according to plan... and that's all part of the plan. For you see, without opening yourself up to the potential for the nuisance, the crisis or the trial, you will never experience the spectacular, the amazing or the wonder. Or as Dori put it Finding Nemo, "If you never let anything happen to him, nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo."

  • Finding a quiet little private campground out of the way.
  • Waking up in the morning with muddy raccoon footprints all over my sleeping bag.
  • Seeing stars again. No really, you forget how many there are until you get away from the lights of the world.
  • Shooting stars.
  • A full moon so bright you mistake it for a manmade spotlight.
  • An entire church group throwing aside their dignity and jumping in the river. Frolicking like they got no sense.
  • A horseback ride where Wayward and i "accidentally" became separated from the group for a while and then got to gallop for a bit when we got caught.
  • Morning on the water with no one around and mist devils, little swirling fog tornados rising off the river all around our canoe.
  • The ride of the midnight snorter! Deer, apparently taken aback by men sleeping in their path to the river, running right through our camp in the middle of the night and then stopping and stomping on the other side while trying to figure out what the heck was that?! Not one night, but two in a row.
  • Listening to my sons laughing and tearing the heck out of the inside of the tent while i cook.
  • Starting a bison stampede with the thunder of the motorcycles and then outrunning it.
  • Finding Moose Drool. And enjoying it.
  • Finding an underground river. While still above ground.
  • Waking up to six inches of snow.
  • The mountains, the rivers, the sunsets, sunrises, the forests, deserts, lakes, skies, the secret glades and scenic valleys, furry critters, feathered critters, bugs, noises, music and silences that you will only find away from the things of men.
  • The highs and lows and mysteries and stories, the light and the darkness in the souls of companions, Ballisticat and Wayward and the Ballyhoo. Being there for each other when the trail becomes the trial. Griping at each other when the trail becomes the trial. Sharing the awe when surprised by the serendipitous. Staring into campfires at the end of a day, partly from wonder, partly from exhaustion. Wondering how people lived like this all the time? Wondering if we could? Wondering if our wives would let us. (That's not a typo. You don't need a question mark at the end of a question you know the answer to.)
  • Learning new meanings to old words like, "friend" and "home" and "dinner."
When i escape, when i go through the gate of the Great Northern Wall that we have built between us and the wilderness, i am physically representing my desire to cross the wall between us and God. To cast off my luxuries, my comforts, my security and put myself at His mercy. That requires risk. God is BIG! He's unpredictable. But He's also secret and intimate. That can be scary and that can be glorious. And that's the point. i want to go back to Eden. i know i can't. Not yet. But i sure do appreciate the glimpses.


  1. Anonymous2/12/10

    Those unexpected occurrences must always happen when camping. I only went once, and woke up with my head in a puddle.

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  3. Rain, is almost a given. And "waterproof" tents, coats, shoes, socks, scarves, garters are an advertising lie. Rain comes down pretty hard in the woods too, don't it?