A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Night Hike

English: Wikipedia:Heilbronn, hike tour
English: Wikipedia:Heilbronn, hike tour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
        The days and evenings had grown warmer as spring was about to submit itself to the turn of summer.  My friends and I had lived in the cabin since the frigidity of January.  Vernon, Wendell, Bob, and I had found the Laurel Valley cabin on the market for a reasonable price, especially considering the prime location that would be highly desirable during the summer tourist season.  We were young, single, and in a mindset that we were mountain men of sorts.

         Winter camping was never my favorite activity though I did my share.  As the warmer days set in, camping became higher on my list of things to do.  The camping adventures typically happened on a Friday or Saturday when most of the other adventurers in our circle of friends didn't have to work the next day.  This one April Friday evening was an ideal night for camping.

         About eight of us gathered at the cabin in preparation for the hike to the top of Kelly Ridge.  The trail head was about a quarter mile from our cabin and from there it was another mile or so to the top of the mountain.  By the time everyone was ready to go, darkness had set in.   It was a clear moonlit night.  Though we used flashlights, we could have made the hike with the light provided by God.

         We were a bit of a Godless bunch at that time.  Backsliders, most of us raised in the church, but now wild young men who partied on week-ends with booze and drugs.  We may have been hiking in the night, but God was always nearby, not guiding us, but watching over us keeping us from harm.  We could act tough, but we were also thoughtful and more spiritual than an outsider might have thought.

          At the top of the mountain we set up camp not far from one of the deepest caves in America.  Except for me, everyone unrolled sleeping bags onto the ground.  I strung up a hammock between two trees and laid my sleeping bag in it.  Our beds were made, but it was not yet time to lie in them.  There was the business of fun to attend to.

         We smoked and drank in the semi-darkness and talked about life and its mysteries.  Stories were told and we jousted with witticisms.  Then a quiet set in as bodies and heads grew heavy.  Soon there was no sound except the occasional rustle of the trees above us.  It was a quiet forest.  The summer sound of insects was not there yet.  I looked at the starry sky in the spaces the tree canopy did not cover.

          Someday there would be no night hikes or mountain camping for me.    This was far from my mind on that night.  I was already in the future and continually going further into it.  Into a time unknown, but dreamed of.  Something was coming for me soon.  A new horizon.   Tomorrow was another day--a very different day.

         Have you ever gone hiking at night?   Have you done any wide open camping in the wild?   Did you live a wild youth?

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  1. due to my clumsiness and ability to trip over things in the daylight, I haven't hiked at night. But many years ago I did do a full moon night walk through Muir Woods, the redwood forest in Marin County CA, which was a program by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. That was beautiful but I was worried about stepping on banana slugs. As for camping, uh no. My idea of camping is no mini fridge in the hotel room! lol Wild youth? Not really, my early to mid 20s were kinda wild I guess when I was following the Grateful Dead around.

  2. I'm not a fan of camping, I like my comfort. I did camp a lot when younger, it was cheaper than flying somewhere. I'm talking tents not RV. To me, cooking in the wild and cleanup isn't fun.

    I remember camping out under the stars once on a mountaintop in the southeast and all I could hear was the multitude of BUGS. I pulled my sleeping bag over my head in case they decided to land on me.

    I was too grounded to be wild. I've always had an eye to the future, and not just for my stories.

  3. Back in the day, I did some night hikes - BIg Sur area, Mendocino County, and in British Columbia.... and a lot of camping in the Western US. And, yes, there were some wild years back then. Sometimes I still miss that.

  4. I have never hiked but we used to have a caravan(trailer) on a camp site where we would visit at week-ends.


  5. I took my 5 daughters tent camping in Florida when it was 28 degrees out side. The best part was the youngest every 30 minutes wanting one of her sisters to take her pee.

    I chuckled to myself all night long.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  6. JoJo -- Following the Dead around sounds like it could have been a wild time. My idea of camping these days is staying in a posh hotel room. No camping for me.

    DG -- Outdoors in the Southeast can definitely be loud with bugs. It's eerie at times, but strangely beautiful at others.

    Gracie -- Mine were the good ol' days, but not for me now.

    Yvonne--I used to do trailer camping with my parents. It was fun.

    Shelly -- Whenever I used to go winter camping I always wonder why the heck I was doing it, and then the next opportunity I'd go again. Go figure. I never really liked cold weather camping, but I guess it was just a way to get out with my friends.


  7. Never been night-hiking. SOunds like an adventure.


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