It is now Monday morning. I did learn a couple new things regarding this place in time commonly called “the weekend”. While I was not wrong in what I felt and observed in my earlier post, I did not quite have the entire picture. I now have a better sense.
In this new life, and perhaps only for me, the weekend starts Thursday night and runs Friday to Saturday. The weekend has moved one day ahead of when I was a working person living a conventional life. The buzz starts Thursday evening, peaks mid-Friday, settles in for Saturday and comes back down to a manageable level Sunday. This occurred to me Sunday morning while at camp and then as my mind ping-ponged during my hike later that day.
I woke up Sunday, as usual, started my morning fire and tea. I heard the sounds of bustling and voices. That was new, as I am generally among the first, or sometimes the only, person up. This tends to be around 07:00. I then heard air mattresses being deflated, car doors opening and closing, and the reverse process that caused all the buzz a mere 1.5 days ago. They are leaving! The sweet sounds of packing filled the air and I started to relax. All the coolers and dogs and tents and cabanas and radios were starting to be packed away. These sounds brought me joy! These sounds meant that less people would be here, which meant less noise and less upset and less destruction. I hoped, anyway. This brought a smile to my face. I felt the weekend over.
I also learned more about the steps I need to take in order to cope with these ebbs and flows. Unless I really camp away, in dispersed sites far out in the woods, this will be my reality. My hesitation with dispersed sites is that they are way out, often times miles down a forest service road. There are no picnic tables, potties and sometimes no fire ring. The way I live outside, I really need that table and I prefer to have a potty of some sort. These sites are free, which is a bonus, however I find the tradeoff lacking. In addition, due to the distance, I have to drive to do or see anything. Nor do I think it smart to just start hiking down a path I know nothing about. I am prepared for a lot of things, but I did not take the steps in my preparation or gear to be so isolated for long periods. If needed, I can pull it off. Not conveniently or easily or smoothly, but I can do it. If needed.
Truth be told, I really do not want to be that isolated. I want to see folks on the trails and I want maps and a visitor center. I do not mind some people around and I enjoy meeting folks on the trail or at camp. I am isolated all the time so I am not compelled to add any more alone time to the mix. There is also the gas of travel and the animal proofing of my items. One fairly expensive and the other not completely possible with a soft top Jeep. All in all, being so far away does not seem to work for me at present. I do not mind paying to camp if I get what I want and need.
When planning my time, as in town days and hiking/biking days or day at camp, I need to remember this new flow to the week. I should plan NOT to be at camp on a Saturday or even a Sunday. I should plan to be at camp by late afternoon Friday due to the high traffic and activity. I do not want to take any chances with the safety or security of my belongings. There was a group of young men in a modified Jeep last week that only came to party. They used a camp site for a couple hours (which one is not supposed to do) for their drinking game, a little raucous walk around and then they left. Those are the types I watch closely. Those are the sorts that worry me and I think they should.
Back to Sunday. I had already planned Sunday as hiking day, since Saturday was laundry, shower and beer day. Honestly, I should have done that Friday as I was in camp pretty early and got antsy and bored. Still learning… Moving forward, Friday would be a good town day, with more time at camp. Saturday and Sunday would be good hiking/biking days, and Monday to Thursday good days to hit tourist spots. That is my plan this Monday. I will hit the touristy places that were crowded all weekend.
I should also have checked the weather. It has been a couple days since I asked about it and weather information will also help inform my schedule. I now plan around tourists, crowds, busy and down times. This happened as the kids got out of school and the season truly changed to summer. I knew it was coming and I dreaded the impact. I also noticed that camp sites are booked solid for the weekends. I did plan well on this front, as I have volunteer and paid work lined up for most of July and August which I know to be peak tourist months. I will also hit some non-reservation and free camping in between. Not too bad for this novice on her first few months of walkabout. Not too shabby for this pilgrim.
All in all, I am getting better and better about managing this new life. I am learning more about how to manage the calendar, my time, my “have to’s” and my “want to’s”. I expect fuck-ups along the way, but will put my faith in the Universe that I will be OK no matter what. I am feeling much more relaxed than my first couple of weeks. I have a groove, I know where my stuff is, and I have packing down to a science. I have always found a shower and laundry. And beer. Thankfully, there is always beer.
The weekend has changed. My time management has changed. Where and how I spend my time has change. I have changed and I love it. I just love it.