Posted by: George | July 3, 2010

Getting Right in the Head

Storm Rolling In

July 3, 2010 (morning)

 I am not yet out of that work mindset, but I’m working on it. I drove hard the first and second days. I rushed to set up my new $45 Coleman 4-man tent (definitely on the inexpensive side for tents) before it started to rain. While it rained, I went to the camp store, where they have WiFi (SlowFi would be more like it) and spent over two hours answering a few emails (we can’t really escape from work these days) and uploading a post with three pictures. I was having flashbacks to the birth of the World Wide Web way back, ages ago, in the mid-1990s, when it took four or five minutes to load a web page.

A couple of guys from the West Coast sat down next to me to answer a few of their own emails. We became fast friends in between scant key strokes, commiserating about the SlowFi. Once it stopped raining, I checked on my tent. Dry as a bone, I am glad to say.

It was only about 4:30, so I started to feel guilty, like I should do something, make better use of my time. I drove to the Park Point (elevation 8572 feet) and walked a very short trail. I sat for a while and watched a nasty thunderstorm rolling in from about thirty miles away. By the time I returned to my campsite, the rain and wind had started. I decided to ride this one out in my tent, mainly because my body weight would help to keep the it from blowing away. A few tents around me collapsed. My new Coleman held fast. I wondered if it was made in China, so I checked the label. Made in Wichita, Kansas. Good job, my fellow Americans.

In 1996, on another long trip out west, I was camping and fishing on the Green River in Utah, just below Flaming Gorge Dam. I spent about a half hour talking to guy as he leaned against his truck, looking at the river, thinking about putting on his waders. He said, “You know, all morning, I’ve been trying to find something to complain about. I got nothing.” After a long pause, he added, “Just another day in paradise.” That’s my goal. To get to that mindset.

Camping definitely helps. Everything you do is an essential activity, like getting out of the weather or cooking a meal. And everything takes longer, which means something has to go. What has to go, if you do it right, is layers of post-industrial silliness.



  1. You’re dead on about camping, Dr. Jensen. In my Scouting days I did it about once a month. It’s a shame I haven’t gotten to do more of it sense then. Hooray for tents made in America!


  2. Or *since* then, even! *laughs*


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