Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Being Alone Vs. Being By Yourself

There are times in your life when you discover something about yourself you hadn't realized before. A couple of weekends ago I did just that. I figured out I am not much of a loner.

I need to be around people, even if I am not with them. It's not that I can't do things or go places on my own. I just don't like being alone. 

My trip to Moab last year is a great example. I went on the trip by myself, but I wasn't alone.  Yes, I hiked by myself and had dinner by myself, but there were still people around. I could see people and talk to people. I even met some really great people, some I even call my friends. I am okay to be by myself, but not okay to be alone, isolated.   

In May I attended the Wheelers Overland Adventure 2018. It was 3 nights of camping and 3 days of wheeling at Anthracite Off-road Adventure Area. Plus overland and navigation classes, campfires, a scavenger hunt and raffle. 

I signed up for the "primitive" camping in an "open" field instead of a campground. When I arrived I scouted the area to set up my primitive campsite. This area was on the outskirts of the off road park near the woods in a heavily brush filled field. 

It was just me and my Jeep as I picked a really great camping spot. However, I was alone. The nearest campers were about a hundred yards from me and couldn't be seen nor heard. I easily set up my tent and thought now what? 

So I headed into town for dinner and a glass of wine (or 2). I needed to relax as I was a little apprehensive about sleeping "alone" in the woods. Even though there were people within hundreds of yards of me, I was alone. 

I was exhausted by the time I got back to my campsite. I decided to skip the group campfire so I hit my sleeping bag early. The "whoops" from the distant campfire lulled me to sleep. 

Once the quiet over took the night I roused from my sleep. Not only did the quiet awaken me but so did my dream, or should I say nightmare. My youngest son and I were fending off a bear trying to get in the tent.  

It was so eerily quiet at 2 am I couldn't get back to sleep. I knew I needed to be surrounded by people. I decided I did one night of so called "primitive" camping I could check it off my list. I did it, and decided it's not for me.  So I got on my phone and booked a campsite at the Trailhead Campground where most of the wheelers were camping. 

The next morning I tore down my tent and headed over to my new home for the weekend. I immediately  started setting up my tent again. During this set up I heard my name being called. 

It was an online Jeep friend who also listened to the Jeep Talk Show Podcast. 

He and his buddies where camping right next to my site. It was perfect. That night we sat around the campfire and shared many stories. Jesse and Mike, and their friends, are all Long Island UPS drivers. They shared lots of fun stories about their Jeep adventures. 

During this Overland Adventure Weekend I did some wheeling on the green trails at AOAA. It's always nice to wheel easy and be relaxed to enjoy nature and being in my Jeep. 


Plus, the main reason I attended this event were the 
navigation classes. They were taught by JoMarie.

She is an amazing women who has wheeled all over the world, and participated in the 
Rallye Aicha des Gazelles in Morocco. Currently she is planning a trip in Africa across the Sahara desert.

She taught about topographic map reading, compass reading and plotting your location on maps. It was a great start to building my 
navigation skills. 

There were other very cool classes on Overland planning, recovery 101 and classes on using your winch. Which one day I hope to have. 

Even though the weekend was filled with rain it was a great time! I look forward to next years event where I know from the start I will be booking a campsite. 

I love to camp. I love to hang out by the campfire. But I need to be around people. I love people and I love to meet new people. 

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