Day 33 Non-Woods

TinTin, Eureka and Nickel

→Exploring the Burn Area←

IMG_3959     IMG_3960 IMG_3965 I never thought that I’d want to walk through the gray chars of a ravaged forest, but as the Poos and I settled in I became more and more curious.  To my surprise I didn’t find it depressing but somewhat mystical and certainly fascinating.  There was an unusual open and airy quality to this forest and because of this I felt comfortable letting the dogs run without restriction.  Normally I take my backpack with at least a compass, water and jackknife but considering the obvious clear view of the camper I decided simply keep an eye on it as we explored. The skeleton of the forest was captivating with its unexpected art created by  burned and sooty forms.




Blooming lichen


Looking down at the remains of tree roots… the trunk must have been completely burned to nothingness.


This is the dried hollow remains of nearly vaporized moss.


Someone didn’t make it.

→Poodle Color Pallet←

IMG_3943      IMG_3966 IMG_3957   IMG_3978 IMG_3976

→New Growth←


This was a hike more rich in texture than hue and my curiosity propelled me further in to the woods. The fire had triped even the rocks of their shrouds, leaving what looked like carved veins where roots might have been and a labyrinth of loose sand and skeletal rock formations where even the soil had been melted away.  Like a cat, my curiosity pulled me into the microcosm and macrocosm of this depleted forest.  Despite my presumed wilderness experience I finally looked up and realized that the 360 degree view of charred tree trucks around me all looked the same.  I was lost in the midst of 100s of acres of wilderness.  IMG_3959In a childlike attempt to be rescued by my dogs, I instructed them to “go home,” “find the car” and “Load up.”  The dogs leapt forward with inspired enthusiasm only to be quickly distracted by some new smell. They were useless.  I walked a few hundred yards in each direction North, South, East and West.  No view looked familiar and in fact every direction looked identical.  I returned to my original spot to think.  I assessed my options: it was probably around 3pm and I had at least 5 hours of light, I had plenty of time to find the camper… or plenty of time to wander even deeper into the hundreds of acres of abandoned burned out forest and the temperatures were mild.  I knew that the most critical thing was to not go further until I got my bearings.  The sky was over cast preventing me from calculating direction by the sun’s position.  Just as was feeling the stirring of panic, I heard the distant sound of a semi approaching from my left.  I might not hear another one for the rest of the day and knew this was my chance.  If I could find the road I could hike up it to the camper.  Considering the acoustics, it took a little effort to pin point it’s location before I lost it.  I moved forward with hesitation because the sound was telling me to go in the opposite direction that I thought I should go. Wow was I turned around! After about 10 minutes I crested a hill and saw the very tippy top of the smooth white camper.  Never have I been so happy to see that ugly old eye sore.  I was lost for only about a half hour but it felt like eternity.IMG_3937   So I learned a valuable lesson, one that I thought I had known and respected decades ago.  Don’t leave the sight of the truck without my gear, not one step.  Not one,  “I’m just going to check around that bush ’cause I know exactly where I am.”  Period.  

→We call it a Day←


6 thoughts on “Day 33 Non-Woods

  1. Just a quick note to let you know that I always enjoy your travel notes! I live in Alaska and the many times I have driven through Canada over the past 60 years, I never took the highway that you are on now. I admire you so much for taking off on your own. I also have an RV that I travel solo with my yellow lab Cheyenne in the winter months, usually going to Mexico for at least a few weeks. I’d really like to drive all the way through South America, but maybe I’m getting past my sell-by date.

    It’s very cold in Alaska now, but still no snow on the ground. In another week we’ll leave to Arizona to pick up the motor home and be on our way! I’ll keep reading you for inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kristin,
      I enjoyed reading about you on your website. If you think you’re ‘getting past your sell-by date’ …LOL…. I’ve met a woman on Facebook who is 70 and taking the same trip to SA! We’re hoping to link up somewhere. She’s traveling with her little dog. It’s never too late.
      Thanks for your note!


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