CatalooCamping

It’s December, this is from October. I’m trying to write and post more but I’ve been pretty distracted. Anyway……………………

140 lbs, I had officially hit my lowest weight since, well, my lowest weight left back in my teens. It was a little odd because I could see where some of my stomach muscles never came back after my accident. I could never see it before because of body fat. The silver lining in zero fat is that you feel pretty damn sexy. I got sick like this before and in 2019 I spent a significant amount of time going to several doctors in hopes for an overall good bill of health and I obtained that with everything except a blood test that I slacked on. So, I got one when I returned from this trip along with another EKG and everything came back clean this week. My health will remain a mystery for now but when I saw my weight issues coming, I pulled the plug on life and took off to the mountains to relax and hang with my parents for a few days. I’ve since hit Publix BOGO on Ben & Jerry’s and put some weight back on and feeling normal again. A pint a day will keep the bones away.
After having a dustnado tear ass through my tent one night while vomiting because I was dehydrated in the desert and doing shit that a person of my caliber should NOT be doing, I knew I needed change. It was a sleepless night, crawled into the fetal position and convulsing uncontrollably. I was also battling one of my worst urinary tract infections so I was over the world at that moment and envisioning what would make my life better. I manifested it and the image below paints the exact picture of what I saw when I was subconsciously asking for a way out. Buying a topper for my truck has changed my life. Coincidentally, it is part of why I cannot keep weight on because it burns right off. But it’s just sooooo rad and easy for me to leave whenever.
This is when The Handicamper was born.

Diamond Lake, OR- Summer of 2019. Life suddenly got easier on this day.

We packed and headed out for a slow ride to NC and arrived in the mountains around 1am. It was cold which was nice because the skeeters sucked here two months ago. My parents live on the side of a mountain and the only flat ground there is the garage floor, so we sleep in my truck on one of my fathers lots above their home. It’s flat, you can see the sun and moon rise in the east and I can easily toss some landscape granite rocks in the truck to go. I believe the mountains are cursed so I’m not sure why I’m bringing rocks home. But  hey, my place looks better each time I come home from NC.


After a good night sleep, we rolled outta bed and drove down to the house. I had called my father prior to coming and let him know he could tell mom I’m coming or not and surprise her. He opted to surprise her, so we did.

In August when I was up, I had run into a man at the gas station that was obviously on a similar path as I. We hit it off pretty well and he told me to stop by before I headed back to FL. I never did but it sat with me as unfinished business, so I went by his place this time and he wasn’t home. I only knew it was his home because of his truck so I left my card on his window with a note. He later called and we had a lengthy chat about life and much more. We had plans for the night so we headed off into the Cataloochee Valley to stay the night. Lonewolf is also a Shaman and suggested I pay attention for a sign over the night.

Only sign I saw. I embraced it and riding it deep.

This road was closed to cars and sucked for wheelchairs but I did a mile.


I’ve been wanting to bring River to Cataloochee Valley for a while now but I wasn’t going to bring him until we could stay the night. I had never stayed the night here and it’s been on my list for some time. The phone number is listed on a sign on your way in so I called and found a nice spot for the evening by the river. The repetitious visits in the evening have become not so memorable unless something exciting happens but the morning, oh man, I’ve never been here in the morning. It’s not exactly the best drive you want to take at 5am in the dark to see the sunrise here so get a campsite and stay the night. I don’t carry my camera with me anymore so it’s hard to capture raw beauty with a phone.







Feeling fresh, we explored the new day, got lost deep in the woods and headed towards Lonewolf after a much-needed Gigi Burger. River had about a dozen dogs to chat with along with some chickens and cats but he’s an old soul so he hungout with us in this shed. We drifted into a time warp while getting to know each other. It felt like we were talking for an eternity but when I gave him a ride to get his truck, I realized it had only been about two hours. There was a moment when I had to stop and take a photo because this was a memorable moment in my life and I was in full embrace. We bonded, I dropped him at his truck, we made a trade and parted ways until next time.






A few years back, I started incorporating drive time into pleasure time so turning off the highway on random roads and taking a 4-24 hour detour has only enhanced my life and allowed me to see more of our country. It is also a challenge to freestyle camp because you just have no clue where you’re going to sleep for the night. It could be an epic spot or it could be in the Post Office parking lot at 2am in a small GA. River left them a package in the grass, we were out by first light and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise drive through GA and back into our home base.
 

 
 
 
 

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