After picking up my resupply at the Tuolumne post office, I struck up a conversation with a man who was camping for the weekend. I complimented him on how beautiful his trailer was. It was one of those old silver bullet looking trailers. His was the shiniest one I had ever seen, literally a gigantic mirror on wheels. He had put a lot of time into restoring it and was happy to be camping with his wife. I passed his trailer several more times while going to use the restroom, and each time he was adding more comforts to his elaborate set up. Lawn chairs, strings of lanterns, a beautiful brand new laced canopy, grill, and TV. I am not going to judge this man for his setup, because some of my favorite camping experiences have been while car camping. The thought crossed my mind however, what if he and his wife had never seen the back country? How many campers in this campground had never been to the back country? Oh, what a shame to be so close and never experience it!
Until very recently, I know I've been afraid of camping in the back country. It seemed too dangerous, to difficult, too crazy. I guess it is, if one is unprepared. How many times in the past have I missed out on an amazing wilderness experience because I was too afraid and stuck to the campgrounds! With just a little extra preparation, heaven is just waiting for us to experience, as long as we are willing to take the risk.
Something else to consider: A couple of days before finishing the JMT I ran into a couple on Pinchot Pass who were "bushwhacking" through the Sierra for a couple of weeks. In other words, they were staying off the main trails and were relying on their map and compass skills to maneuver through the mountains. They told me they would never go back to hiking on trails if they could help it, because for them, the ultimate experience was crossing the unknown meadows, waterfalls, and peaks that most humans will never see. To them, I was still unknowingly in purgatory because I was stuck to the comfort of the trail!