I spontaneously decided to go camping in Rocky Mountain National Park.
After work, alone, on a weekday.
A typical Knudson plan.
Driving over the ridge and down into Estes Park was...jaw dropping.
I live on the edge of the plains. Sometimes, it makes me forget why I moved out here.
I remembered. These mountains demand admiration.
Dusk walking in the meadow.
Flaming aspen groves under a storming sky.
Suddenly surrounded by a herd of elk. The bull announced himself with his shrill, wild call just 30 ft. away.
Walking back to my tent, I got caught in the rain and was rescued by a darling elderly couple.
(This seems to be becoming a trend)
Sipping spiced whiskey under a wide sky. Orion peaking out behind thunderheads.
Peaks glowing pearly under the moon.
The elk with their high, lonely calls. Owls whispering in the pines.
Knife roasted meat. Charred beets in the coals.
Palms warmed by my pipe. Feet warmed at the fire.
Alone, but not lonely.
Autumn is made for wandering.
Also (as it seems) solo camping.
September 22nd 2010
I was sitting under the Watchman in Zion, Utah.
After spending the last three days camping, hiking and exploring. Driving for days.
The night before, I had perched on a cliff watching the sun go down over the Grand Canyon.
Bloody. Bruised. Blistered. 21miles. River wading.
Fell asleep to a chorus of howling creatures in the woods outside my tent.
I sat there, with grandfather pipe in one hand and Tolkien in the other.
Bats diving over the sparks of a roaring fire as the first full moon of autumn,
rose heavy and clear over the dusty, red mountains.
But sitting there, alone, I felt a gnawing discontent. Not fully enjoying.
Pondering over so many unshared, solo adventures.
How many moments I have wasted, wishing for a handsome, wild companion at my side.
Papa called over me.
"Oh, child! Here you are longing for someone to romance your heart.
Don't you see! I am romancing your soul!"
Find a companion in me, first.
Savor this season with me. Make me first in your affections.
These are special memories, just for us.
Late in the evening, I slipped back in the driver's seat and drove out over the palely illuminated desert.
Learning to savor a deeper friendship in the Companion.
In His timing and His relentlessness.
Out of all of my days spent in the woods and wilderness, that was one of the most glorious.
Alone in the tundra. Watching the lights flickering across the fjord as my candle burned into the damp ground.
Drifting off to sleep in the soft heather under my tarp.
Finding comfort in the solitary times.
Safe in the woods.
September 25th 2012
At five in the morning, the elk are still making booty calls in the woods.
Breakfast early and a nine mile hike before dinner.
I'm still not used to weather in these mountains.
The sky didn't announce it's devious intentions, so I wore my down jacket up to the lake.
Moss. Meadow. Alpine. Tree-line.
Climbed up the waterfall to Sky Pond.
I was chased back down the mountainside by driving hail showers.
Ended up running down the hillside in long wool underwear and chacos.
All the tourists laughed at me, safe under their silly ponchos.
Warmed my frozen claws and headed down to Boulder for dinner with friends at Jacob Springs Farm.
I came out to Colorado alone. He has surrounded me in deep friendships and raw, authentic community.
He puts the lonely in families.
And honestly, I still hope to meet a handsome adventurer.
But I've learned to cherish this season of flying solo with God.
Through all of my travelings and in all of my yearnings, I still want Him most of all.
He is the greatest of companions.