Wednesday, October 09, 2013

a day in the life

good morning! good morning!

my campsite in the morning

it is lovely waking up in the national forest, even in the dark. maybe especially in the dark.these days the sun doesn't rise until a quarter past seven, but ever since i did that race i have been getting up at five which is a thing that could be remedied easily enough if it were unpleasant.

the only drawback to it is that i wake up when it's dark out and have to turn on a light to see if it's time to get up yet.

i might just get up if i don't feel tired, but i'm one of those people who wakes in the middle of the night feeling all rested and stuff even if i need another four hours of sleep. if i wake before four (usually between midnight and two), it's time to roll over and sleep more. if i wake AFTER four, it's time to get up.

last night the weather was lovely and temperate in the forest, with breezes to circulate air into my car, which is where i sleep. it's no hardship since i have a bed laid out back there and my car is just long enough for me to lie out full length in with a couple of pillows besides. if the weather is warm, i sleep with the windows rolled down and screens up.

yes, i have screens in my car. i went down to the hardware store and i bought a couple of yards of nylon screen which can be secured very nicely over the windows by way of magnets.

so. fresh air. peaceful woodland setting. absence of bug nuisances, and crisp matching linens.

i wake around five and take my time getting dressed and packing my gear. i have done this so often that i know by heart the order in which to do everything and don't have to think too hard about it. sometimes i listen to public radio, sometimes not. the nearest people are a half mile down the road, at a house that's only occupied on weekends. farther away on three sides are other campsites, some remote and some part of organized campgrounds with outhouses.

my preferred campsite is on potomac road, which is actually a road locals use to get from one side of the forest to the other. ever since the flood of '54 a lot of roads out there just don't go through and you can be lost for hours trying to find your way out in the maze of roads that are on the map but don't go through.

potomac goes through, though, and it's the shortest way from hector to burdett.

from there i come into town, usually trumansburg, becuse it's only ten minutes away. the public library has a sweet little patio out back by the parking lot with tables and chairs and electrical outlets so i can charge all my things and just like at home i can sit there and do computer things comfortably until the sun comes up.

sunrise at the library
but it is such a beautiful drive into town from the forest! the lights in houses are coming on across the landscape and the road is long and straight and on both sides forest and farms and pastures and ahead of you the lake and the lights of town. it's that early morning light, and hour before sunrise and when i do get into trumansburg it is friendly and gentle with its streetlights on and people quietly waiting to catch busses because even out in the country here they have public transportation that takes you into an actual city.

once the sun is up, i usually go to a store and buy ice for my cooler and sometimes fill up my gas tank and always use the bathroom and then i go out somewhere. yesterday i rode my bike around the city of ithaca, looking for the downtown caches.

there are a lot of parks in ithaca, from big full service city parks with fields and facilities for every conceivable sport to tiny pocket parks that dot the streets.

saturday i went to the harvest festival in enfield. it doesn't really matter where i go; there is something interesting or beautiful to look at or something to do or maybe nothing to do at all, but a nice place in which not to do it.

there's no shortage of places to buy good meals. even the supermarket sushi is pretty good downtown, and you can do passably well on a small budget.

slaterville spring
there's a reliable spring out in caroline, ten minutes up the road and if you combine your visit with a bike ride or going to a park or the wildflower preserve, it makes sense to go that far to fill your water jugs. the water is good, and it's free.

then in the afternoon it's back to the library to sit on the patio, check my emails and my reading list and around sunset i head back out to the forest to heat up water to wash up with.

by eight o'clock i am asleep.

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