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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Friday, November 6, 2009

53 Weeks

That's how long it's been since I slept on the ground, relieved myself in the great outdoors, drank morning coffee that tasted just like that, visited the petroglyphs as an appetizer before dinner, burned a fire in the middle of the jeep trail and carefully covered it with desert sand before retiring to the tent. That's how long it's been since I went to the place I know so well. One year and one week since I slumbered beneath the stars, hoping coyotes would howl me awake in the chilly morning.

I've made all the purchases that were on my list, packed only what I need, selected the books to take, my journal, colored pencils, new CDs for the journey . . . for tonight I will ride in the darkness to the same place I slept in November, 2008. I will step out of the car and make my usual observation, "Listen to the quiet!" And then I am sure I will cry. But not for long.

This campsite lies in close proximity to the deserted Aiken Mine - the site I always refer to as the baby giants' preschool. For the area surrounding the mine has so much machinery, so many trucks, so much debris it looks as if the school bell rang and all the baby giants went home, leaving their toys strewn about . . .

Limes photographed the photographer
photographing at Aiken Mine.

The coyote gourds will abound in all phases of development from wet and deep green to nearly white coyote gourd maracas. I'll pick some to add to my collection and I'll carry them home so carefully.

For just a little while I will hear no telephones, converse with no general public, fume about nothing in Las Vegas or look at my watch. I will eat simply and hike in the sun. I will take photographs for home dudes and collect rocks for Matt. I'll hope for a tarantula sighting. I may even get a little sunkissed since I live so much in the dark.

I'm going camping. My heart is full to overflowing.

Photo credit (at the baby giants' preschool):
J. D. Morehouse

In my ears right now: The clock ticking too slowly. I want to get out of here!

Something that charmed me:
Last night I got out "the basket". The one that contains the cleaned and well folded camping clothes. I may have the ugliest camping clothes in the world. Mismatched, funky colors, zipper pulls bent and crooked. I will even confess to owning a pair of camping pants with no zipper and an elastic waistband, just like grannies wear. But I have world class boots and socks, plenty of warm layers . . . . I'm going camping.


  1. Ah, Tree, I know you better than that. It probably sounds terrible to you. But you're generous and you know what it means to me. Thank you. I plan to do the writing you asked me to do. Be at peace, Tree. Reclaim your joy.

  2. Well, I've been craving silence and nothing but a lamp to read by and maybe a journal to write in. If you are going to have that, then I'm envious. Also, I'd like to see the Milky Way again. Can't see it from where I live and I miss seeing the bright band across the sky.

  3. Yes, you would see the Milky Way and more. The lanterns hiss in the most inviting way while one reads and comments to the other about something interesting just learned. I'll try to write something that will please you inspired by the quiet place I love.

  4. Ahhh, sounds delightful. I love camping. I love seeing the stars. I love coffee on the campfire. I love that it doesn't matter what I wear nor how my hair looks. Thanks for the mental escape while you enjoy the real thing.

  5. Um, I believe Earth is IN the Milky Way. If you look at the sun, you're looking a star in the Milky Way. If you mean Milky Way as a synonym for stars in general, yes, they shine brighter in the wilderness (as long as there's no clouds).

    I find camping fun as long as civilization is no more than 30 minutes away. 60 minutes if you got a well-packed RV.

    If I'm camping and somebody starts playing "Dueling Banjos", I'm outa' there!!!

  6. Limes its nice to see you upbeat and positive again. It seemed your spirits dipped with thearly sunsets. I hope you get the chance rejuvenate. I wish I could see the milky way again soon. take care.

  7. @ Dooz - It was a wonderful weekend for many, many reasons. Yes, I'll be writing about it. He e-mailed me the pictures before 6:00 this morning and I'd already been writing, at least in my head.

    @ Kirk - I believe you would be technically correct, Kirk. Tree and I communicate, sometimes, in a manner less scientific than sensuous. We each understood what the other was saying there. I'm sorry you don't enjoy camping . . . WAIT! No, I'm not. If everyone loved it, then "out there" would be the same as "in town". By the way, no "Dueling Banjos" or any other music except the wind. No human beings except the one I purposely went out with. Glorious!

    @ Tag - SO good to hear from you, and thank you for your comment. I am now filled, whereas I was emptied. I am refreshed. I made some decisions out there and took care of some important personal business. I feel very, very good, very strong.

  8. Limes, the Milky Way stuff was just me nitpicking. Sometimes I'm just overcome by the urge to do that. No offense was intended.

    I didn't say I didn't enjoy camping. I just don't want to particularly test myself in the wild. I'm tested enough by civilization as it is. Let's put it this way, as long as a park ranger drives through every now and then, I love camping. Actually, I wouldn't mind going camping with you and Badger as your experienced and know what your doing. If I went camping by myself in the actual wilderness (one with no rangers) I think in a couple of days there'd be buzzards flying in circles over my remains.

    As for "Dueling Banjos", I don't think there's any white water rafting where you guys go camping, so the point is probably moot.

  9. Kirk, I wasn't offended. Just pointing out that Tree and I are emoters, and sometimes that means we're factually off. But, boy howdy, our type knows what we're feeling! ; ~}

    You make me laugh about your lack of camping prowess, and after last weekend, I'm feeling particularly cocky. Keep checking for the posts. I've already had some of the pictures sent to me and I'm drafting my first post.

    Hmmm . . . white water rafting? No. There's not even water to drink or refresh the plant life.

  10. How glorious this all sounds - sleeping on the earth - becoming covered in earth's dirt - you are one very down-to-earth person.

  11. Hey, welcome aboard my bus, Garlandless Judy! If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy the next several days' posts and some of my past ones. I write about the desert I love fairly often. I guess down-to-earth is appropriately descriptive of me. I've been enjoying your blog as well and will jump on as a follower.