For your eyes only

Posted by Ken Campbell July 29, 2012 2 Comments 1245 views
The cover of Backpacker magazine this month promises details about parks and wilderness getaways that nobody else knows about. According to the cover of the current Sunset, you’ll find more inside info between their covers as well. Curious?
Leaving aside the obvious – if someone’s taken the trouble to publish a story about a place, and that story is mailed out to hundreds of thousands of readers, then there will be (by definition), no secrets involved – there is another issue. We want to get away when we get away. Away from the normal and the everyday, and most of all, away from other people. That’s what all these articles are tapping into, this idea that we want some elbow room and that we want solitude, sweet isolation.
The thing is, every time I drive by a park this time of year, I see all the slots full, all the motor homes stacked into their allotted spaces, one next to the other. If these folks are looking for solitude, they’re not looking very hard.
You don’t need a magazine to find the road less traveled. Secrets are not often published. 
Get a map, leave the motor home in your driveway (or better yet, get rid of it altogether), put together a light pack and go. Find an old logging road, a dirt track or a rutted gravel lane… always a good place to start. Go on a weekday. Go in the fall, or the winter. Follow the contours of the land and don’t worry so much about where the guide book says you should go. Watch the sky. Look for tracks (deer tracks, bear tracks, not tire tracks.) Get above the tree line. Take plenty of water. 
If you do these things, you will probably find the solitude you seek. Not many others will take the time to find you. And – this is key – if you find that secret spot, keep it to yourself.

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