So I made a goal for 2016, which is to camp once every month this year. Now, I am interpreting “camping” pretty loosely as an overnight excursion into nature. So I don’t really mind if I’m glamping by staying in cabins or yurts. The point is to spend time in nature, not worrying about what is “real” camping.
I spend a lot of time beating myself up for not being the best at something, or not roughing it enough, or in some cases not being dirtbag-y enough. This year of camping is to fight that feeling and give myself a break. Make being outside a priority at least once a month and enjoy myself.
For January my girlfriend and I went to Mt Hebo in the Coastal Range. It’s pretty close to where we live and there is a free campground! It was just a quick overnight trip. Unfortunately we spent most of our time in the tent because of the rain.
We did get in a few hours of hiking before the rain started. On our way back to camp we spooked 3 elk. They were only a few feet away from the trail. Two of the elk ran up the hill, but one of them ran down onto the path about 50ft in front of us. We made eye contact with the animal for a split second before it ran after the others.
The experience happened so fast that I did not have time to be afraid. I was just so excited that it had happened. It reminded me why I love being outdoors; that the most amazing experiences can happen on the simplest of adventures.