It had to have been one or two in the morning, but I lay wide awake in the tent; alert enough that it felt as if day were about to break.
The night air had dropped to the low 30s and frost covered the rain fly creating little ice crystals that glittered and danced under the full moon.
I lay there, nestled deep within the downy depths of my sleeping bag with only my nose and cheeks exposed to the cool mountain air, and I listened.
Our campsite, sheltered in the midst of stoic Lodgepole pine trees on the banks of a high alpine lake, was high enough up a long, boulder filled, dirt road that traffic noises were obsolete. The night was windless and the air was still and cold, chilly enough that the atmosphere around the tent seemed to be frozen in time.
I listened and I listened. I and realized that for the first time in as long as I could remember, there was nothing outside of my own thoughts and my own slow breaths to listen to.
Hot. 83 degrees at 2pm and I’ve turned into such a ninny that I dare call that HOT. Nonetheless, it was hot. And as the day wore on it became it became perfectly clear that sleeping inside that evening, wasn’t a thought even worth thinking.
Luckily about 5 miles up Montezuma Rd. and another mile up the deliciously dusty Peru Creek Rd. there’s this spot. This spot that we’ve affectionately named The Residence; a spot that is just high enough that the dusty heat of the summer doesn’t quite permeate the air, where low clearance cars are not welcome, and on a clear night the moon shines bright through the stately lodgepoles.
The residence isn’t much. Just a Coleman tent meant to sleep five, a couple of camping chairs, a folding table with a George Foreman Grill, a large stone fire-pit, and a cozy hammock strung up along the banks of Peru Creek.
Nestled in a clearing deep in the woods, alongside a crashing Peru Creek rapid, we rarely have company at The Residence. Besides the occasional bump in the night, you are alone with your thoughts, melting into your sleeping bag, breathing in the crisp mountain air, as the waters of the creek lull you to sleep.
The next morning I woke up with the birds. It was cold outside, 43 degrees cold. I wrapped myself in my fleece and wandered down to the river’s edge. The heat of yesterday had subsided and left in its wake a cool breeze, laced with a hint of pine. This ninny was home.