Day Twelve… I Found the Perfect Spot… 05/22/15

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Good Morning! We are still alive! It’s so fun parking somewhere in the pitch black dark and waking up to see where you parked… lol!

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I am in Peabody, Maine folks. I didn’t wake up until 10am… No one bothered me… Here’s a picture of a trail I parked in front of. I didn’t have much time to explore considering I still had to find my campsite and it’s Memorial Day Friday… I figured a lot of people would be looking for a nice secluded, free place to camp for the holiday weekend… So the sooner I set camp, the better.

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So I started exploring the area. I tried to get my GPS to guide me to the specific campsite but the service was so bad even my GPS wouldn’t work. I drove around a little until my GPS found a signal… As I was driving I found some pretty cool sites. The sign above was posted to an old stone wall in front of a huge, run down recreation center. It reminded me of the movie “Dirty Dancing.” Saw that film when I was in the 7th grade with a girl I got to second base with, so it brings back fond memories considering… Don’t worry, I got to second base with her at a friend’s house… not in the movie theatre. I have some class you know!

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Here were some sites that looked promising but there were a lot of no camping signs, so I was weary… Here’s a caterpillar’s nest for anyone who hasn’t seen one before. If you live around this area, you see a lot of these. They can become quite a nuisance actually…

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Well, I finally found a location where my GPS would work…To my surprise it was guiding me to a road I passed quite a few times and it was unfortunately closed for construction… I was so aggravated I just got back on the road and started driving to the next spot. The beginning of this trip had not started the way I hoped… After calming down I told myself that I would have days like these and it’s apart of the adventure… Seeing those beautiful mountains in the distance helped my attitude quite a bit…

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As I was driving I realized it was a waste of energy getting aggravated… This trip has no expectations, so when I can’t find a location to camp I just move on to the next… If it is too dark then I find a place to camp for one night off road somewhere. Honestly, for this trip to be successful, I can’t have any expectations… I have to expect I may be the same exact person in a year from when I started this trip… I have to expect it may not change anything for the better… If I keep from expecting, then this trip will guide me to where I need to be… be it good or bad…

Time no longer exists on this trip. If I wake up at noon, so be it… I needed the sleep… I have no where to be… I have no one waiting for me anywhere… Our lives are constantly filled up with appointments, having to do this and do that… I’m tired of that shit! The only task I have to accomplish daily is this blog and I enjoy writing it… but even with the blog, it shouldn’t feel like a chore or it will defeat the whole purpose of this trip…

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Entering the White Mountains again but I am now in New Hampshire… Let’s try this once more from a different location…

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Getting closer to those mountains! Getting really anxious… I can’t help but admit doubt is the dominant emotion I am feeling right now… Considering I failed at the first attempt…

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Well, I soon felt silly because my source came through this time and it came through huge! After an amazingly beautiful 2 hour drive, I ended up taking a left and driving for about 10 minutes through the woods… that is when I embarked upon this peaceful, serene camping spot…

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It had a nice level spot for The Millennium Falcon… No branches scraping the roof… It was a stress free drive to this perfect little spot… After parking I was eager to explore…

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This is my backyard folks! A beautiful little stream running right down the mountain… I wonder if it leads to a lake for fishing???

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A look at The Millennium Falcon from the stream… She is so happy with her new temporary home… She looks like she is meant to be here…

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I walked up the road a little to see if the mountains were close… There you can see them peeking through the tree line… They look a lot further on camera… I will definitely be hiking for a better view… Considering you can camp here for up to two weeks for free gives me plenty of time to explore, if I need it…

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Well, enough of the dilly dallying…. It was 5pm and I was hungry as hell… Time to get that campfire started and get some cooking going! You know, I haven’t built a campfire out in the woods since I was in my early twenties… I remember in High School, my friends and I would go out to an island that was in the middle of a lake… We would camp out there for the night and get loaded… The great thing was, cops couldn’t get out there to bust us. I guess it wasn’t worth it to them to get a boat and row their asses out there… So it was prime real estate for under age drinkers.

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The fruits of my labor… Now it’s time to get some grub roasting…

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It’s chicken with beans and bacon tonight… I am quite the cook but you have to give me some lead way here… I don’t think I have ever really cooked a full meal on a campfire… I better enjoy it while I can because I am not buying any meat after these perishables are gone.

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It aint pretty but it will do… The stringy stuff is parmesan cheese I sprinkled over the chicken while roasting… Trust me, I will be an expert at campfire cooking when this trip is over… NO EXPECTATIONS DAN!!! but I will be… lol…

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“You broke a cherry…” (Good Fellas)

Here’s a very happy, full camper… A pretty descent first campfire dinner! I will look back on this day and remember it fondly…

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Well after that great meal I had a little visitor… Not so little actually… If you look really hard at the center, right of this picture, you will see a pretty damn big owl… It looks a lot further on camera but the owl was quite close to me… It looked right at me… I can’t say I wasn’t a little intimidated knowing I was on his turf and was just a visitor to his everyday home… I watched the owl in amazement and realized he was focusing on something… then all of a sudden he leapt down from the branch and snatched something from the leafy ground! I thought I was on the nature channel for Christ’s sake!

After he snatched something, he flew to another branch… I watched intently as he surveyed his catch but he just let go of a bundle of leaves and dirt, which scattered to the ground below… He had missed his target… He looked at me one more time and then flew away…

Now, I am not much of a spiritual person but I couldn’t help but feel like that owl. I know I sound like a crazy hippie but that owl was saying something to me… I couldn’t help but feel it symbolized something… All my life I feel like I have been chasing that critter that owl was chasing… A critter that has always been a little out of my reach… A critter that wasn’t always there even though I hunted in that vacant spot… As the unsuccessful hunter, I never really knew if that critter was there or not… but regardless, I have always come up with a clawful of leaves and dirt…

That critter I talk about is “success”… I have sacraficed everything in life for this elusive critter… I have uprooted my life, sacrificed relationships and the chances of having a family just to get close to that critter but now I realize I have never really been ready for it…

That owl either leapt too soon, too late or leapt at something that wasn’t even really there… why? Because he was not ready to catch that critter… He was either too anxious or not anxious enough… regardless, he missed his target just like I have for the last 22 years of my life…

Don’t get me wrong, I have had some small successes here and there but never the mammoth one that I have been hunting for… I can blame it on my situation or make excuses for my failures but when it comes down to it, all I have to blame is myself… The problem is my focus on the goal was so strong I missed the whole purpose of it all… it’s not about success or achieving that success… It’s about the art and game that will bring me there…

Like that owl, I focused too much on the reward than just focusing on the hunt itself and enjoying it… If I keep on focusing on the success then I will never achieve it. I need to focus on what brings me to that success, what makes me want to be successful in the first place and that my dear friends is my art… And as any true artist knows, one of the main enemies of art is expectation and the hunt for success… It’s only the twelfth day of this year long trip and I am already learning something! I wonder what a year will bring… NO EXPECTATIONS DAN!

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On that note, I will leave you with a magnificent fire and a smile from your satisfied explorer… It is absolutely beautiful out here! Life comes with a lot of work but if you are not enjoying that work then what is it all for?

I took a nice, quick hot shower and called it a night…

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