Just a little solo trip

Last week I had a meeting in Quebec city and decided to book a camping spot at Parc National de la Jacques Cartier for the night instead of doing 6hours of driving in one single day.

Instead of being nervous about camping alone in the woods I was actually kind of excited. It would be my first time camping solo, and it would be an opportunity for me to inspire myself with new projects and ideas.

You would think being in the comfort of your own place, access to wifi and everything that it would be so much more rewarding to just stay at home and work from your desk, but the reality for me is I feel so much calmer in the woods far away from everything.

So here I was, driving through the park heading to km 30 where my campsite was, cellular service long gone and it was now just me and nature. 

It was only after setting up my tent and getting all organized that I sat at the picnic table and started to realize that I was really alone. Actually, I was the only one in my camping section so all I could here was the sounds of the birds chirping, the water from the river flowing and the trees swaying in the gentle wind. I sat there quietly not really sure what to do next.

The anxiety that lingers inside was calm, although my thoughts were racing like race horses, I started to feel this weird feeling. The feeling of calmness but with a pinch of lost. It's quite rare to find yourself completely alone with no signal, no human connection and so this was a new sentiment I was dealing with.

And so I decided to grab my camera and go for a walk. I sat on the ground overlooking the beautiful view of the mountains and river that was found close to my site. I took this time to be completely silent and feel the connection between nature and my mind.

After having dinner, I walked back to the car to bring back my food. I herd a sound in the bush in front of me and went over to take a peak. There was a groundhog a few feet away playing in the woods running in circles and having a blast. I quietly got my camera out and sat on the ground to document him. Running around, with the occasional food break, he seemed to be having way too much fun. For about 10 minutes,  I was laying on the ground as he would run around me curious about who I was and what I was doing.

It was only later on I realized he is the one who chewed on my car wires.... But we will get to that shortly.

The sun disappeared abruptly because of the large mountains surrounding me, but when the light disappears that means it's time for a campfire. This time I really felt alone with the noises being so minimal. I focused on the crackling of the fire and read my book to keep my mind company.

It wasn't long before I headed to the tent and fell a sleep like a baby. It was an exhausting day and I was really excited to go hiking in the morning before heading back to the city.

Originally my plan was to wake up at 4am to get out there and try and find a moose. But as I opened my eyes, the sun was already out and shining! I rolled over and checked the time: 7am.

Great, so much for that adventure!

I decided to make some coffee and have breakfast as I started packing up my things. Okay so I missed out this morning, but if I slept in t'il 7 (which is late for me) then I really needed the sleep, so I guess it's not so bad.

Besides, one of my favorite parts of the day is when I wake up and have my first cup of coffee. Especially this time being outside surrounded by the forest it was even better.

My things were packed, breakfast was good and I was off to hike Les Loups, described as a hard hike but apparently the scenery is spectacular.

As I got in my car and started it, I noticed the check engine light. Great!

Debating on what to do I had two options:

1. To leave right away, find a garage and make sure it's nothing too serious.

2. Go hike, enjoy the last morning and then worry about the car.

Obviously it was inevitable for me to pick the second option because I was in desperate need of a hike and after reading about the spectacular views of the trail Les Loups, I would of regretted not going.

I haven't hiked in a while so my legs were already pretty exhausted from the ascending trail. I passed a few hikers on the way and as I stopped mid way to take a sip of water and pull out my camera a french tourist appeared out of nowhere and we started talking about his trip. He was here for two days and then was heading towards Charlevoix before heading back home to Guadalupe.

He was pretty fed up from the bugs that were intense and left not too long after.

The joys of summer, great weather but way too many bugs!

Finally I have reached the top and understood why this hike was worth it. The scenic views given were completely insane!

The huge valley, mountains and the river was breathtaking. Well worth the sore legs and sweaty body I hung out there just taking in the view.

 

When I reach the top of my hikes, I always like to give some time for myself. Watch the view from above and focus on my breathing. Kind of like a form of meditation. Studies have shown that nature is the best cure for many diseases and I truly believe it. For someone who struggles constantly with anxiety, the whole experience I had 0 attacks.

Of course there were moments of solitude but that is normal for any solo camping experience.

Here I was, on top of the world looking down at the tiny trees longing the river. The light was a little hard considering it was noon and that is when the light is at it's peak but I still managed to get a few good shots in before my descent back down.

After getting back to the bottom, I made myself a quick lunch and jumped in my car to head home. The check engine light was on of course and was a little worried on my drive home, only to find out that a rodent had chewed some of my wires causing the light to come on... Hint hint the groundhog of earlier** .

At first, I wasn't sure if camping for one night alone would be worth it. I was debating on the fact of perhaps driving back home the same day but I am so happy I stayed. It's a great way to boost my creativity and feel inspired by the summer months ahead and get ready for awesome projects.

Did you ever go on a solo camping trip? How was your experience?

 

Alex,