For NYE, I desperately wanted to get out of the city — away from the suffocating pomp and circumstance — and into the wild.
A friend recently reminded me of a Walt Whitman quote:
“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on — have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains.”
2017 pushed me away from all the things that only temporarily satisfy, and so when Tash mentioned she was planning on camping over NYE, it didn’t take any convincing to try micro-adventure #2.
What’s a micro-adventure? All your questions have answers. Eight months later we finally pulled off our second one.
We decided to hike and camp out around the Gerringong falls area. The hike starts on a fire trail.
The weather was not as forecast. We thought we might get a bit of rain around 3 AM. Instead, we hiked inside a cloud, while that cloud was misting and raining on us the entire time.
The fire trail is actually very wide and easy to hike. We missed the split off to the walking trail but once we found the other end of we we were pretty happy to have missed it.
As we neared the falls, the trail opened up along a semi-dry creek, that led to the falls.
We reached the falls. I’m not great with unstable heights, and the slick surface near the edge of the cliff did not create any sense of comfort. The falls are high enough that from the top, you can’t hear the water hitting the bottom.
The view, even with all the mist, did open up a bit, and I understand why people do this hike. There’s apparently a hike down to the bottom which involves traversing a small chimney, and I wasn’t going to attempt it with this much rain.
The best part: No people. This is all I wanted for NYE, was to get to be here without a drunk, loud, obnoxious woo-wooing horde. I’ve seen enough fireworks to last a lifetime. As much as I’ve started to practice loving kindness, forgiveness, and mindfulness, I’m still an elitist who isn’t terribly impressed with humanity.
On the hike back, as we began to scout out a spot to sleep, the rain started coming down harder, and it got colder. The minimalist packing meant I was in for a miserable night.
About 2/3rds of the walk back, we hadn’t see any place that would provide shelter from the wind, and we just called it. Done. No outdoor camping tonight. There was no gnashing of teeth or pulling of hair, no self-loathing or disappointment. It was the right thing to do and easy to accept. I smiled and walked on.
We exited the park, and I discovered my blood sugar had crashed. It’s really something I have to watch, because it affects my mood and my ability to make decisions. And any food gets stuffed into my mouth, barely chewed, and definitely not enjoyed. And that usually leads to not feeling great for the next hour. The first time I discovered I was hypoglycemic, I was 19 years old an in a Tower Records in Mountain View, California. I went to the bakery next door and inhaled two massive bear claws before sanity returned and I realized the bakery clerk was staring at me, looking like the witness to a double homicide (pastricide?).
But I digress.
We ended up sleeping in the car by the ocean, and I couldn’t have been happier, once again being away from it all, starting 2018 in an unorthodox way, away from the crowds.
Here’s to 2018, to more micro (and macro) adventures.