*All pictures taken in this post were taken with my phone. No fancy camera this time around.*
After plans fell through with friends to camp in PA to see the Perseid meteor shower (one thing I try to see every year), I decided to take to the Adirondacks to camp for a night. It was my first time camping alone. I picked a campsite near the water at Eighth Lake Campground, in the Fulton Chain of Lakes area. I got there kind of late, due to stopping in with a friend in Syracuse on my drive over, but I still managed to get my tent up before the sun set.
I didn’t get a fire started until after dark and I ended up eating popcorn for dinner because, getting into a remote part of the Adirondacks on a Sunday evening after 6, there were no places open to get food at.
After I finished my popcorn dinner and cleaned everything up, I took a beer and my butt down to the water to see if I could see any meteors. It had been raining all day and I wondered if my chances were going to be slim to none. However, it turns out that luck was on my side for that chunk of time. I got down to the water’s edge and was met with one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. The water was perfectly clear, not a ripple, and looked like a sheet of glass. The sky above was filled with stars and they reflected perfectly below. I felt like I was standing at the horizon of two separate dimensions of universes, converging. I fell to the ground, in awe. Then I began to see the meteors, flying from one end of the sky to the other. Some were huge and their tails lingered for a few seconds after they had disappeared. I was so overcome with emotion that I sat there, sobbing at the beauty of it all. Everything was so big and I was so small, sitting alone with my beer.
I woke up at 4:54 am to a coyote howling next to my tent. I’m a scaredy cat, I admit it, and that howl instantly had my heart pounding. The next second, something large was scratching at my tent. I whipped out my phone, turned on the flashlight, and it took off. I didn’t go back to sleep after that. I did try, but gave up just before 6. I wandered out to the lake, took my shoes off, and walked out in the water as far as I could. I was joined by two loons and I stood there for a good long time, letting the breeze blow my hair and the water splash my legs. After I got my fill, I headed back and made some coffee. I felt quite proud of myself because that was the first time I had boiled water over a fire. I had that and a clif bar and then packed up and headed out.
My back has been acting for the last few months, so I decided not to do any strenuous hiking. I chose to hike Rocky Mountain, a steep, one mile hike out and back. It was a quick jaunt to the top and I sat up there for a bit, snacking and taking in the gorgeous view of the Fulton Chain Lakes. When I got back down, I decided to do some scenic driving before driving home. I stopped at a few scenic points and then hit the thruway home.
It wasn’t a very long trip, but it was a milestone for me. I’ve been trying to do more on my own and camping, even for one night, was something I’ve wanted to achieve. There will be more solo camping trips in my future, but this was the one to get me started. It’s nice to do stuff like this on your own sometimes. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and you get to know yourself better. Here’s to more solo adventuring!