I wake up at our first wild camping spot on BLM land near Carlsbad Caverns. I look past our toes out the bedroom window and what do I see? A whole new world that needs to be explored! I have to tell you, I’m excited!!
Some people are built to stay in the same place their entire lives. In the Appalachians of North Georgia where we called home for 14 years I have several friends who have no need to venture outside that beautiful mountain area and so they simply don’t. They are content. And those mountain scenes are beautiful. Our home looked out over the Coosa Creek Valley with tree covered mountains behind. Every day the view was different; one day we would watch as storm clouds swallowed the mountains one-by-one as they approached from the south, another day we would have fog in the valley below, and of course in the fall the trees are stunning. It makes your heart sing.
And every time Wendy and I would return from a vacation in some exotic place in the Caribbean or Europe we would look out our back porch and realize — as wonderful as those places were, they still didn’t compare to the view out our back porch.
But each of us is built differently. I am a wanderer. Something comes over me from time to time. I feel confined and trapped. I feel stuck in a rut. I yearn to explore. In the past I could satiate this need by hopping in my airplane and disappearing into the sky. At 180mph I could go far in short order. But I couldn’t take Wendy with me because she was tethered to her phone as an on-call surgeon. That was a real problem.
When Wendy and I were first married I commented to her several times that I could be very happy in this world if I were alone with her on a deserted island. She agreed, but we later amended this thought to include books. Alone together on a deserted island — with books. Our new motorhome lifestyle captures that desire perfectly. Wendy and I are, at this very moment, completely alone, in a vast desert with no one closer than — who knows. This desert seems endless. I love it!
Anyway, as I was saying, this first morning I look between my toes out the window at this new back porch. This new world must be explored!!! No time for delay, so I walk out the door in my pajamas and smell that unique desert air. Oh yeah!!!
But wait. An important safety tip pops in my former scoutmaster brain. Rattlesnakes! They have rattlesnakes here. Don’t you remember Gun Smoke and the Will Rogers Show? And then there’s that cactus called Horse Crippler. Hmm. OK. Back in the coach, strap on my boots, and now I’m ready to explore in my pajamas — with my boots on.
It reminds me of when our daughter Caroline was two years old and saw her first snow in Denver (where we lived). I look up and realize she had somehow slid open the back door and was bent over licking snow off the deck — naked, except for her diaper. I said “You have to dress properly to be outside in the cold. You don’t even have your boots on!” She dutifully came in and the next time I looked up she was outside, bent over licking snow again — naked, except for her boots and diaper. Obedient to the letter of the law.
So off I go to walk a 100 yard radius of the coach in my pajamas. And what amazing discovery do I make? Not one, not two, but three caves within 100 yards of the coach. Wahoo! How unexpected and cool is that! Did I climb down into one of these caves? No. These things disappear into the netherworld and if I slipped I might be transported into that netherworld and Wendy would never know where to look. So I did the good Boy Scout thing and just gaped from a safe distance at the edge.
What else did I discover? Scat. Looks like rabbit and some cow chips and some other yet to be identified poo. New stuff to learn! Yay!
And I also saw all kinds of desert plants, prickly pear, chola, bear grass and all kinds of other things I haven’t put a name to yet.
How much fun to explore our new home and discover so much in just the first 30 minutes. But now it’s time to stretch out on our back porch and contemplate —- stuff.
It’s been a great day already and I’m still in my pajamas!