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Ideas and Inspiration: Camping

The Rich Writer: Ideas and Inspiration: Camping

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ideas and Inspiration: Camping

I just spent a weekend in the mountains. For the first time in about ten years, my family and I gathered our gear and backpacked in to camp instead of camping in our old VW van.
I have nothing against van camping. I love Piper--our faithful VW--but there's something magical about hiking in for three hours with a pack on your back, reaching destinations you might not attempt if you had to be back before nightfall. (Or, since this is Colorado, before the afternoon thunderstorm.) We camped in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. The trail we took was a busy one, but after three hours of hiking the crowds thinned and disappeared. In the early evening, surrounded by late-season snow and a kaleidoscope of wildflowers, it felt like we were the only ones in the world.

In places like this, I find ideas and inspiration. I sit on a rock in the warm sun and daydream. I imagine living in a time a thousand years earlier, trying to cross this mountain on foot; I imagine fantasy worlds and magic and people who might live here. I saturate myself with sights, sounds, smells: a hummingbird buzzing around a red tent strap--the plop of fish jumping in the lake--the smell of something minty underfoot--the taste of cold (filtered) lake water--the shock of snow spilling into my shoes.

When I leave, I feel as if someone filled me up with beauty and stillness.

The only disadvantage? I had to limit myself to two books, two notebooks, and three pens. Otherwise, the pack would have been too heavy....

:) Cheryl

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