Updated: Jan 22
My latest adventures on social grabbed the attention of an old friend of mine, Eric. He and I have known each other for over 10 years now, he was a cameraman on Deal or No Deal. When I was on the show, I found myself gravitating more towards the camera people and audio department then models. We had more of a common ground then I had with the rest of the girls.
Of course, thank you to social media, we’ve been able to keep in touch all of these years. After he saw I was getting out and about in the backroads of California, he extended an invite just a day before he had planned on heading out. The spontaneity of it freaked me out since I’m an over-planner and prepper. Eric’s invite was the last thing I thought about before going to bed and the first thing I thought about when I woke up.
The next thought was, “Ok, you’ve got three hours to make this happen.”
I had work to do but kept thinking to myself, it’s only one day. The work will be there when I get back. I recognized that I have to start saying yes to adventure. My car is 10 years old and finally – I get to use all of the gears! I had never truly been off-roading before!
Everyone keeps asking where I was, but that would defeat the purpose! I couldn’t even tell you if I wanted to. It was 4 miles of off-roading, followed by a 2 1/2-mile hike. What I can tell you is I passed more Del Tacos than I’d ever seen in my life! And in case you were wondering, the vegetarian tacos are Okay… You could make better at home.
So- This is NOT the video that shows it, but I made a tiny but giant accomplishment on this trip. I've had the worst luck in large bodies of natural waters. From diving into a pod of water eels to encountering a whale in a kayak, it's happened. This has created a massive fear of being too far from shore and I do not trust dark water. Dark water is where all the monsters live so...
If you look at the video you'll see a dark spot in the lake, it's also the deepest part. Not too big but enough to keep me from venturing over to the other side of the lake. A took a few warm-ups, but I finally did it! This was my first attempt, and unsuccessful - but I kept trying!
It was so refreshing being around so many people that had no judgment. People were respectful of one another spaces and bodies. Clothing was optional at the hot springs and people definitely exercised their options.
When I tell people about this trip, they say things like, “Oh there were a lot of naked people there? There must’ve been a lot of gay people… Or they say clothing optional? There must have been a lot of swingers there…”
But there wasn’t one type or another. They were just people there that wanted to be close to nature. The conversations were good, boobs in or out - And the hot springs were hot, no complaints here. Simply people of all ages comfortable in their skin.
Usually I would’ve opted in when it comes to taking my top off but having had a working relationship with Eric in the past I didn’t want to go there. Maybe if his wife was there, I would have, but that’s what was so great, people did what they were comfortable doing. There was no pressure.
It was so cool how each hot spring was a different temperature. Everybody knew which one was the hottest one and quickly let newcomers know before they got in. You could leave your stuff on the ground without being too concerned somebody else would snatch it up. The laws were different out there.
On our way out my only disappointment were cans of white claw floating in the water which I quickly ran back to get. That’s why I can’t tell you where I was. Because if that keeps up, we will all lose our privileges.
When I returned home from this trip it was the first time, I realized that I have not slept with my usual white noise. Every night I open my app and fall asleep to the sounds of owls in the woods. Maybe since I’ve heard the real thing now it’s like getting a song out of my head that’s been stuck on replay all day. We’ve all been there, having one verse of the same song stuck in your head and the only thing that can alleviate the redundancy is to hear this song.
I guess I heard my song.
One thing I learned is that if you get lost in an uncharted (but pathed) territory you can ask your phone for directions home. The only thing different is to be sure to set it to walk instead of drive! Your phone will recognize the paths as hiking trails (instead of dirt roads), helping you find your way out.
It was just one day, but the following day I did not get back to work. I laid around and ate takeout food. My body was so drained, I wanted to feed it and rest. I couldn’t tell if it was from the hiking, the excitement, swimming in the sun all day long or the seven Bud Lights I had but I was pooped.
The month of June brings me more travel and just enough time for all of the bruises on my legs to heal. I’m glad I just mentioned that - Note to self: Buy sandals to walk in the river, moss is slippery.
Not that I ever doubted my skill, but I was more than impressed to see that the water tank and other extras I have strapped to my roof did not budge for the entire drive.
What’s more impressive than that? The sight of my car evenly covered in clay-colored dust. It made me feel like a proud mama.