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Bill Bergeman


10 Observations from Camping in the Woods for the Last Week

I've been camping in the woods just north of Flagstaff for the last six days. I'm doing a lot of running right now, and if you've been in Arizona in July then you know hell is cooler than most of this state - so going up to a relatively cool 7,000-foot mountain town to run only made sense. I did go into town each day for groceries and to do work at various coffee shops, but otherwise I was off the grid.

Here are some of my observations from being partially disconnected from society this last week.


    1. There are an infinite number of stars that can be much more easily seen in the woods and away from the city.

    I would stare at the sky for so long after sunset each night, fascinated with the sheer overwhelming quantity of stars. I talked about Star Therapy in my list on managing worry a couple days ago (https://notepd.com/idea/10-tactics-i-used-this-week-to-deal-with-worry-cdd2g).

    2. My body rhythm seems to have reset.

    I definitely did not need, nor did I use, any sort of alarm to wake up in the morning. My body fell into a natural rhythm of falling asleep at about 9:00 each evening and waking up at 4:00 each morning.

    3. Not having internet access is nerve-racking for the first few days, but eventually, I relaxed into it.

    Plus, I did get my fix each day while I was in town. But, after a while it felt good to not be connected 24/7. The urge to fall into my usual routine of falling down ridiculous YouTube, Wikipedia, or Google rabbit holes while laying in bed at night dissipated.

    4. My anxiety level plummeted.

    I am so chill right now. I also talked about this in my worry list a couple of days ago (https://notepd.com/idea/10-tactics-i-used-this-week-to-deal-with-worry-cdd2g).

    5. It is so, so quiet.

    You never realize just how much noise surrounds us until we leave these monstrosities called cities. Never-ending beeps and alarms and honks and traffic...it's all gone here. Just peace.

    6. You start to notice a consistent bird chirping like they're speaking a language.

    It's pretty cool.

    7. It can get a little spooky at night.

    Being alone in the woods in the pitch dark is a little spooky, I have to admit. Like someone is going to come out of the trees and slaughter me in my tent kind of spooky. It didn't feel that way all the time, but the thought occasionally popped in my head.

    8. People are far more respectful drivers when driving on forest service roads and other more remote areas.

    Even in town, where traffic would build up again, people generally didn't ride my tail or cut me off like they do in the city. I think there is a correlation here.

    9. There is nothing man-made in any city that is equally as beautiful as being surrounded by an endless number of ponderosa pine trees.


    10. Life is just better.

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