After a surprisingly good night of sleep, I woke up at 6 A.M. to see the sun shining down on me. I appreciated its kind attempt to get me up, but I was too cozy. I slept for another two hours and got up for real at 8 A.M. I packed up my campsite quickly, ate a ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast, and reorganized my car. I left my campsite at 9:30 A.M. and began my drive to Klamath National Park. The drive was uneventful and I continued listening to my audiobook, this time learning about China. I pulled off the road at a rest stop for a few minutes to get this picture of Shasta Lake.
I got back on the road and drove another several miles to Shasta City. I stopped at a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop to obey nature and then grab a cup of coffee. I walked around the city for about twenty minutes but found nothing intriguing. I found out when I left that I had stopped too soon – there was a much nicer downtown area a mile up the road. But I didn’t know that at the time, so I turned around and went back to the coffee shop I had seen. While waiting in line, I met a young man about my own age, named Kevin. He looked to be of the adventuring sort, so I asked him if he was traveling through, or lived there. He said that he lived in the city and had just come to have a cup of coffee while he read. I could sympathize with that! Before I could ask him what book he was reading, it was his turn in line. After him, I ordered my usual ultra fancy beverage – iced black coffee. It came out quickly and I wished Kevin well before walking back to my car.
Now I was in mission mode. I had realized earlier that my destination for the day was across the Oregon border. This presented a problem – I had not done my two hundred push-ups in California yet. As my mind always does, I started trying to worm my way around doing pushups just yet. This was only California, I had done thousands here before. I could just skip them and start in Oregon. Then, if I decided I wanted to do some in California, I could do them on the return trip. But I knew that was silly – I wanted to start this off right. So I looked for a nice spot to do them. Sadly, exercise facilities are not a part of the tourist attraction business. I looked in vain for several miles before it occurred to me that a local park would work out perfectly. I pulled off the road and found one and here, again, I went through the mind-games of avoidance. I feel quite foolish now, writing about it. I walked all the way around the park (which turned out to be very extensive), taking pictures of the gold mining equipment they had and exploring the mountain biking trail head. It’s true that I got a good walk in, but I ended up right back where I started. I finally decided to stop wasting time and get going.
I hoped to break the two hundred into sets and chug systematically through them. As I got close to a hundred though, I realized that wouldn’t work – would need a rest before I was ready to do a hundred more. So I did the first hundred in nine minutes, took a twenty-minute break, and finished the second hundred in eleven minutes. Some people will wonder how I did them so slow and some people will wonder how I did them at all. I’ll let those two opinions balance out and just try to do a little better each time.
I got back on the road after taking a quick shower (using the ingenious portable shower device suggested by my brother, Andrew – don’t worry, there has never been any Roundup in this one).
The remainder of my drive took me through increasingly exciting mountain passes, ending with a single lane gravel road with a sheer drop down the mountain on one side. Well, it may not have been a sheer drop, I’m sure one of the giant trees would have been happy to catch my SUV halfway down – though I doubt that trees know the meaning of “gentle.” Anyway, I did meet two other vehicles coming the other way (both were GMC pickup trucks). We made it safely past each other with at least six inches to spare on the cliff side.
I found the Mt. Ashland Campground almost empty, except for one large RV. I picked the spot farthest away from the RV. I get enough of close proximity in the city, so I reclaim my personal space when camping. Five hundred feet please, keep your distance people.
I set up my tent around 4:30 P.M. and sat down to read. Ater an hour I got up to stretch my legs and explore the camping area. This is the most beautiful area I’ve been so far on my trip (which isn’t saying much, since I was driving through California), and the temperature was perfect – around 65 degrees.
When I came back to my tent, I called home to update my family, then went began writing. Eventually, I got tired, and now, around 10:30 P.M. I am quite ready to get some sleep. Tonight I am using a traditional sleeping back and thin air cushion since I don’t want to wake my neighbors by flopping about in my balloon chair.
“Imagine a bird soaring high above , feeling one kind of freedom.
To experience life fully,
It must land and go through
The arduous task of building a nest.
Through this discipline comes another kind of freedom,
To experience the depths of its life.
How have you felt free,
And how have you felt trapped?
Can you apply the discipline in your life
To explore the depths and, in those depths,
To find another kind of freedom?
Adventure is not outside;
It is within.”
Yes indeed, three elements come to me in your writing
The ingenious portable shower device tickled my reading
Reason and Logic. Your survival motif is clear. 2. “The mountain passes with a shear drop and the SUV being caught by the personification of the BIG trees. Excellent work. And finally your campsite theme
Writing materials with book on top turned upside down
Ha ha at point 8 the tent at point 3 and the tree at point 5.
Forming the straight line to form the motif of your trip.
Congratulations 32/5 freedom a discipline excellent work.