All my hopeful predictions were correct: I was so tired by the time I reached my camp that I slept no problem. I woke up a few times and peered out of my tent, but all in all I slept just fine. It helped that there were people camped, just out of sight, on either side of me and that the moon was incredibly bright. It lit up the whole lake so instead of waking up to a dark unknown, I woke up to a silvery fairyland. The trees cast shadows in the moonlight and the lake reflected a perfect mirror image of the ridge above.
I woke up refreshed and feeling excited again. Ned woke up with “OH MY GOSH WE’RE STILL HERE ON THIS AWESOME LAKE” and went swimming. Again. Repeatedly.
I should never have worried about bears. What I should have been worrying about was chihuahuas. Nowhere in all the wilds is there a beast that can become a more super-concentrated bundle of hate than a chihuahua. But demon dogs are a little later in the story and I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
So, I quit my job. And not because I had a new job, or for graduate school, or for any legitimate reason whatsoever. I quit only because I knew I didn’t want to do this work any more. So I just quit, deciding to take some time off before launching into the next thing for me.
The first thing on my bucket list is a solo backpacking trip, just me and my dog (a dopey black lab named Ned) and five days in the wilderness. I felt like I needed to spend some time alone in the wild to heal, to grow, and to let some of the madness of five years at the Public Defenders Office bleed out of me into the mountain air. Which sounds nice, right? Restful? Restorative?