Life on the Open Road

Life on the Open Road

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

On Rendezvous with Wildlife, Noticing Things, and Being Alone

A really great thing about the way I live and travel is that I allow myself the freedom to go as I please and to stay as I please as well. I have fallen in love with this place. It happened when I first came and it happened each return. I love being here. When I leave, I come back. As far as a physical location goes, I want to call this home.

I’ve lived different places for various lengths of time. I enjoy the changes and variety a lot. I don’t think of home as simply a place. I’ve lived places that don’t feel like home. I’ve lived places that I knew were temporary. Everything is temporary actually. I’ve known when it would be short term. I’ve known when I like a place and want to stay. I’ve known when I liked being someplace and would be happy to leave and return or not.

I was just talking with some rangers and volunteers at the ranger station about Wisconsin. Some had just been or were headed there for a visit. I mentioned how much I loved it and how I spent a month there last Summer. I had no idea, when I first entered WI then, that I’d be exploring it so much. There is still more to see there, though I am quite happy I got to a lot of different parts of it.


Last night I was walking the beach and my attention was drawn to this post with a light. (I’m not sure the name of this … pretty sure it has an official term.) I looked at it and did think it would make a pretty picture and then wondered to myself, is there anything there to take a picture of? Yes. I immediately noticed a bird perched on it. We’d had rain storms and it was wet looking. It looked like an eagle! *A hawk! I keep referring to it as an eagle. I love seeing hawks. I've rarely seen eagles. I'm leaving eagle because I want to since that is what I kept saying and thinking until I realized I meant hawk now.* Do eagles go to the beach? I took some pictures. I got closer. It flew to another one of those posts with a light on it and this confirmed for me that it was an eagle. I was appreciative I had looked and seen this. I love eagles and view them as a positive sign to see them. I’d seen another recently on a fence along with two other, smaller and different kinds of birds. Loved seeing that, too.


That wasn’t all that happened though. Then I saw a fin come out of the water nearby the post with the light that the eagle was on. Dolphins! Swimming in that way that reminds me of a wheel in water, circular and up and down. I was now so thankful I had looked and that this was unfolding as it was. You can see in this picture the bird by the light and the dolphins as a speck there in the water.

The bird is perched and the dolphins are to the right, sort of centered in the picture.

Here, the dolphins are on the left about above the '.I" of www.InspiredTrekker.com below.

I walked back to the campground I’m staying at. I’m at a beach campground. There is no better place for me to be right now. I love it.

Did you know that those white crabs like to run the soft sandy beach at night? Did you know they sound like mice scurrying when they do? I’ve heard mice carrying things. This crab sound is like a mouse just on its own, not carrying anything. I usually listened to music but last night, on my way back and just toward the end of my walk, I took my earbuds out to hear. I heard the ocean waves breathing and felt the breeze. As I reached the boardwalk to get back to the campsites I noticed a deer looking right at me from the grass nearby. We looked at each other. Do you know the sounds of a deer sort of snorting? Softer than a horse. Harsher than a dog. It ran off and I later heard that sound. Recently, another night, I turned my phone flashlight on and had a similar encounter with a deer near the walk there. It was startled by my light and made that sound(I want to say it chortled) and we both jumped a bit and it ran off. That’s when I figured out it was a deer. It’s really cool to see them by the beach.

Hearing the sounds last night, I thought about how I usually walk and listen to music and how much I enjoy doing so. I love the rhythm and the way it feels to walk like this. I briefly thought about the sounds I was missing by doing so and I stopped myself because I wasn’t missing anything. I loved listening to the music. I knew the ocean sounds were there. I just chose to tune into something else. I wasn’t missing anything. When I’m feeling happy doing whatever I am doing, I’m there. I’m fully there. I’m not thinking about all the other things I could be doing or all the other things I love to do and that I’m not doing right then. I’m there. I have preferences. I know I love being at the beach lately and I feel there has been tremendous benefit from spending so much time at it. There has been benefit in tuning into it as well as tuning it out.

I see butterflies pretty much every day. Gopher tortoises are out and about and far faster than one might imagine if familiar with the idea that they might be slow. They aren’t. I’ve seen a baby sea turtle and I’ve seen the sign for where there are eggs so we can look and not get too close. I’ve seen darker crabs in the water and along the shore.  I've seen horseshoe crabs and stingrays. I've seen lots of creatures I don't know the names of. I’ve seen cardinals and other birds. I’ve seen cats other than the one I live with. I’ve seen dogs, too of course.

There are lizards, however, I haven’t seen them as often. I’m excited because the new site I just moved to today has a tree! I am very excited about this because not only do we get a bit of shade even in the daylight, animals like trees! And my cat likes to watch them. Perfect!

As I was walking last night and noticing these things, I was thankful because I know that things like this are everywhere. There are all sorts of opportunities for us to rendezvous with what we like and want to and it’s just a matter of paying attention to them and being receptive of noticing.

I’ve written about traveling solo and the connections and in the moment experiences I’ve had that have been so much fun. This is the same thing. That quick view of the dolphins rising and then submerging is exciting. It’s brief, even if I watched them cross the water so saw it repeatedly. It’s a tiny bit of my walk and my day. It’s also the thing that brings such satisfaction to the walk and a bit of a thrill. I know the water has lots of dolphins yet I don’t always see them. I know those moments are everywhere throughout each day yet I don’t always meet up with them and recognize it.

I’ve been spending a lot of time alone lately. I see people when I go out and I’ve been staying at a campground more than ever before and enjoying it. I like being alone. I like being in fun company. I like being around animals and nature. I adore the beach. I am not feeling lonely in the slightest. I’m not missing anything. My days are satisfying yet if you ask me what I’m doing, I somewhat short for words. I’m enjoying myself. No matter what I’m experiencing, or how I am feeling, at the end of the day, I’m really enjoying myself. That really is all that matters to me.




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