I apologize my weekly feature has been delayed a day.
I was off the grid this weekend on a family camp trip. Weekends are my time where I truly get to sit in stillness as my thoughts turn into words. I did have stillness this weekend before my family woke; however, I left my laptop at home and chose reading over writing. This weekend was for disconnecting and enjoying my family.
I am so fortunate to live in an area where I can escape into the mountains off grid. Meaning, we don’t have cell service, a hosted campground, or bear boxes. That would freak some of you out, but for me and my family it is our second home. Listening to the birds chirping, the aroma balancing between the pines and manzanita. Watching the sky changing as clouds come and go and the sunsets filtered through a silhouette of pines trees. There is still a lot of snow on the ground but it is melting fast which allowed us to camp next to a running creak with a booming waterfall. The sounds of day and night were tranquil.
We have luxuries like our cabana tent with comfy cots and warm cozy blankets, a toilet we bring on our desolate trips, a rock crawler buggy that allows us to access areas otherwise inaccessible, and for my kiddos their rock crawler RC cars so they can be just like their dad. That is about as on grid as we get. Many trips we have a hot shower, too, but this trip we left that luxury at home.
The most important thing about being off the grid is not having any distractions that involves focus centered into an electronic device. It is freeing. We chose to enjoy the space around us. We made mini bows and arrows (using a knife and old rubber bands we had in our camp gear), arrowheads (by shaving rocks into the arrowhead shape.) panned for gold, made mini rafts to float down the rushing creek, talked back to the “cheeseburger” birds, and soaked up the sun. There were no deadlines, no expectations, no business, no chores, just togetherness.
Usually we have friends with us but this trip was a Covid-19 approved outing. Just my family and I. I wake up earlier than anyone in my family and I was reading my Bible. I chose to pray and read God’s word and try to listen to God’s voice. Instead I heard a bear growling, grunting, and letting out sighs. I wondered if it was a secret message letting me know he will be back to my camp at night to see what goodies we have for him. I wasn’t scared, but the bear got my attention. Last year, while running a section of the PCT not far from this spot my dog noticed a bear watching (hiding) us from behind a tree and ran after it. I was freaked out then. I thought I lost my dog, and the bear was going to run like a rabbit in a circle leading right back to me. But, instead my dog (dang you, Vivi Loca) came running back proud that she just saved me from a big bad bear. I have learned these bears in my area are more afraid of us, unless we are sleeping (or away) and they can ransack our camp for yummy treats.
If you don’t have a place to get away that forces you off grid, I suggest you make time one weekend to spend a day away from your home and away from technology. Choose a block of time if that is easier. You’d be surprised at what you can do, see, absorb when your focus isn’t split between real life and social media life. Take a book and find a quite spot in your area to read. Walk and talk with family.
My journeys are always better when I am in the pine trees. I feel most natural as it gives me the opportunities to connect with the simplicity of life. I challenge you to find time for yourself to be off grid this week. Let me know what you did, and what you thought of your time.
All my love!
Off the beaten path is a weekly feature where I discus a topic that enlightens, motivates, and allows us to process topics that relate to mental and virtuous strength. Join me every Tuesday off the beaten path and allow yourself to reflect your personal unexplored journey among pines.