Each year I would usually go to my oldest brother’s house to celebrate Christmas and open gifts with the whole family, but it wasn’t happening this year because of the divorce. Sad face.
I wasn’t near family for the last two years because of Denver, but I’m usually quite content and independent so I’m not irked about it, plus my coworkers and roommates were my substitute family.
This year I woke up inside a tent on Christmas morning to the sound of nature and not a soul around. And at 7000 feet altitude! I found the spot on Google Maps beforehand and read the comments to be sure it would be suitable for my little car to get to. There was a four-mile dirt road I would need to traverse in the dark which would feel like a thousand speed bumps and an eternity, but a commenter said a sedan could do it, so I was assured.
As I made my approach in the dark of night, I was stoked to be doing this kind of adventure again like I had done in 2011 on my mountain bike in Hood River, Oregon. When I stepped out into the crisp mountain air and looked around, I was seized for a moment by a sense of isolation and remoteness, but instead of it being coupled with excitement, I began to feel lonely and maybe even a bit afraid.
That is most certainly not what I was expecting to feel. Those thoughts flooded my mind of me taking a path in life where I become one of those perpetually single guys who gets a camper and just roams from place to place alone.
I’m loving my first-ever solitary camping road trip, but those thoughts that I might become that hermit in the woods with only his thoughts and little projects to keep him company is a frightening notion. I’ll always love being a member of a community and putting myself in the path of others in service, but at 34 years old and having never been in a serious relationship before and not being bothered by that fact? I’m running out of time, and there’s a good chance I could end up being that old man alone in the woods.
I was quite bothered by that thought, indeed. Thank God!