We have been travelling for 55 days and all our camping experiences were comfortably protected by Betty, our aluminum travel trailer. We have “camped” in either woodsy government parks or the sterile concrete world of RV resorts.
I had started to shake and vibrate uncontrollably like an addict in withdrawal, I needed my backcountry fix … and I needed it soon.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park came just in time. The park hosts Guadalupe Mountain, Texas’ highest peak, and loads of great hiking and backpacking trails. When we pulled into the visitor’s centre, I could almost taste the adventure.
I was getting jittery with eager anticipation and Tracy could see it.
Like a dog on a leash pulling instinctively towards a squirrel, I was now primal and void of conscious thought. My backwoods instincts blindly pulled and tugged … I began to lose focus on the basic tasks at hand. I needed to be released into the mountains.
I completed my first night in the travel trailer with Tracy, however, my mind was elsewhere. In a manner, I was cheating on my wife. My mind was not on her, but rather on the delicious curvaceous lure of the mountains that surrounded us as we sleep.
My backwood’s mistress, a mountain high, my outdoor fix … I needed to be released.
With the loving and understanding blessing of my wife, I loaded up my ultralight overnight backpack kit and left both Betty and Tracy for a solo night at a backwoods campsite in the mountains.
I blasted up the mountain at a blazing pace. A combination of adrenaline, pent-up backwoods lust, and a leaner build (a recent 20 lb. fat loss)… I was on course for a 2.5 hour 3500’ accent.
The trail was like nothing I had trekked before. Stone blasted switchbacked trails, zig-zagged up the Texas mountain.
At 8000’ I reached the designated camp, pitched my tent and then continued to the peak. At 3:30 pm I reached the 8575” top, took my obligatory photos and then descended back to my alpine camp.
At my tent site, I talked to my camping neighbours and enjoyed celebratory wine, cheese and chocolate … and then settled down to watch the sunset over the mountains.
The night was cold and dark … but never lonely. I was sleeping with my “mistress”… the backcountry I love so much.
Shortly after sunrise, I bouldered down the mountain, and 1.5 hours later I was back with Betty and Tracy.
Tracy is my first love, yet the backwoods is my drug … and with my “fix” satisfied for now, our RV adventure can now continue.