The things we see in life are not always pretty. But with social media fashion we all edit what we we share. However, a lot of people want to know what this Teardrop Travels experience is really like for David and me.

I've been asked if I've had an epiphany. Answer: I've had many. And what has been the biggest surprise so far. Answer: How much time we are really spending together. We get questions like how do we shower? Answer: Nemo solar shower. In cold weather, a wipe down with my homemade magic tonic.

How do we spend our time? That answer is a long one. What do we do when it rains? Answer: We have two CVT awnings and a room on the sides of the teardrop, plus an REI awning for the galley kitchen.

What do we see? Thousands of pronghorn antelope in Wyoming, litter at BLM sites (Bureau of Land Management) and remnants of human inhabitation on the land (mining) in Colorado.

How do I feel? This is my answer: In Georgia, an old bedframe was hanging in a tree. We were in the second largest and probably the wettest wilderness east of the Mississippi River. Part of the trail followed along a former road along the Rice Camp Trail to the Jack's River Trail. This is in the Cohutta Wilderness of the Chatahoochee National Forest. We backpacked through a gorge with high dense tree canopies and a variety of trilliums, wood violets and other woodland plants. Down, down, down to the river. 

The waterfall down there is something like the biggest volume in that wilderness. And the riverbank was covered in dripping moss with young columbine plants coming in. It is home to millipedes and mosquitos too. I walked through each river crossing in my boots. They were wet the whole rest of the trip because it also rained on us. I hung my wet socks in my tent. As if they would actually dry out, ha!

Up, up, up to the ridge. You don't get expansive views across mountain ranges through the trees here. Views were in a small radius around me, water was cold, feet were wet. Pack was heavy with extra water. Daylight glowed green through towering hardwoods and dark green rhododendron.

Leaves soft and thick under foot meant we walked quietly amidst a forest chamber. The distance between me and David facilitated by the meditation of several miles continuous and aggressive elevation gain. We got in our tents early and were silent under the close tapping of the rain. 

I forget how many miles we walked and the usual backpacker's specs. For me, this trip was a close range, internal centered walk. It helped reframe my eye and energy to the magnificent intimacy of nature. I spent time with myself, occasionally connecting with my partner.

Each week, every day overlanding with David in as primitive of places as we can find stimulates constant reframing. I think I am now beginning to see the essence of things, others and myself better.

After all, when it comes to living as a speck in nature, we are not in charge. We are a participant, living alongside the ants and the poison ivy. The creek is my spa. The tick is our neighbor, for better or for worse. 

How do I feel, you ask? I am learning that if I bare myself to mother nature's facets, and not just look at them, I will be humbled. I will be released from human performance anxiety. I feel great-- more contemplative, more versatile, more appreciative of the simpler things.

*We also used our bug spray liberally, which convinced me to make a better blend of my own with essential oils!

 

 Morning after rain in the Cohutta Wilderness

Morning after rain in the Cohutta Wilderness

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