I think I like the sun best at 10:00am. Everything is golden, bright and I’m awake enough to enjoy it. The windows rolled down, my hair flying in the breeze as usual, I cruised through LA without a problem. I was taking this camp trip alone, as my friend Roxana decided to stay home. Ventura brought in the salty breeze from the ocean, reminding me of the town’ s original name – Buena Ventura – Good Luck. I turned onto Highway 33 and immediately enjoyed the pastoral rolling hills of the California landscape. Even without the GPS, which I have grown uncomfortably attached to (something I’ve realized since the electronic has blown a fuse and I can’t use it any more) I found Wheeler Gorge campsite.
The thing I like least about camping, is choosing the campsite. Enviably it becomes the grass is greener over there by the stream (what about mosquitoes), over there in the grotto (not a ray of sunlight) – ooh that nice big one (too close to the bathroom where people are bound to visit late at night with their flashlights shining into my tent). Too many choices short circuit my brain and I end up taking the site in front of me whenever the smoke starts to curl out of my ears.
However, campsite 42 had its advantages. It was near the bathroom, but around a corner. Being on a corner the site was large and I plopped my tent under two large live oak trees. I set up the wood for a fire and my chair next to it. There were no screaming kids, but I landed near someone playing John Denver, which was cool because it reminded me of my Dad and how he instilled this love of camping in me. I lay down in my tent and stared at the shadows made by the tree branches above. The sounds of the stream gurgled up whenever John took a breath. I could surrender to this kind of imperfection. I rolled over and took a delicious midday nap.