We had a chance to do some solo camping recently and gawd, it was delightful. We stayed up late! (8:30 pm) We got up late! (7:00 am) It was mid week and off season, so no one else was around. We read books. I crocheted a scarf.
Of course, it was in the 40s at night, and first thing in the morning, I needed to get out of my toasty sleeping bag and schlep in the frigid air to the restroom a quarter mile away, and I wondered, why do I actually even like this? Why? Why?
Since we were kid free on this trip, we went exploring, the way we used to. We drove way out into the woods to Opal Creek. Way out in the woods. Like, miles of perfect curvy, hilly state road. I wonder about roads like this. Almost no one uses them. This road lead to no where. It dumped onto a gravel road that lead to a trail head. Yet, perfect, smooth, well maintained road…way out in the woods.
We hiked a little. At the beginning of the trail, there was a parking lot for 100 cars. This is a well known swimming hole.
We didn’t get a chance to come up here in the summer when it was hot. It would have been perfect for toddlers.
There was a four mile round trip hike, or a loop that would have been seven miles. We opted for the four miles. At our stopping point, there were old growth trees and old mining equipment rusting in the woods.
Creepy old stuff!
And also more amazing swimming holes. The popularity was evident from the bottle caps and trash lodged in the rocks. You can’t just have a good time in a beautiful, natural place in the woods without somehow making it worse from your visit. It makes me wish there were more hungry bears and cougars roaming the forest. You leave an empty can of Budweiser? A bear gets to eat your leg. Those are the rules.
It was nearly deserted, though we ran across some other hikers. I imagine there are many, many people in the summer.
I was glad to come when it was quiet.
What a world away from the city.
This is why I like it.