One of the challenges of semi-primitive camping is... showering.
Oh... one can wash down with a series of washcloths... like a "sponge bath"...
beginning with a soapy cloth and finishing with a round or two of wet, clean cloths...
and leave washing the hair as its own outdoor project. Yea... but you just need to
take a shower every once in a while to really feel cleaned off.
In my first camp (along the forest road Jeff showed me) I looked forward to
getting that shower. I set a couple of gallon jugs of water in the sun to warm up for
a few hours -- scoped around for an area nearby in the sun that offered some decent
privacy (even though the campsite was quite well covered with bushes and far from
any road or other campsite).
There was a small clearing surrounded by scrub oaks near the van, and the van would
serve as the remaining side... if anyone accidentally drove into my out-of-the-way
campsite. I was just thoroughly surrounded by forest bush and the van.
I set up a small table... camp chair... shampoo.. soap... towel... clothes... warmed water...
and took myself a really wonderful washing... from my hair down to my feet. It was just
lovely... the warmth of the sun balancing the still comparably cool water.
It was a really, really righteous and joyful shower. I pictured one of those "professional"
camper ladies that I'd seen when I was on a family vacation... when I was way younger...
those ladies with their fishing vests and hats with travel patches dotted all over them,
"There's nothing more wonderful than taking a nature shower."
I was now in the realm of those rare campers who have stood bare naked among
nature and the trees and washed so wonderfully clean -- and were dried off by the
warmth of the sun. What a great experience this was !!
I dressed and put supplies away -- combed and dried my hair in the heat of the sun
and the breezing of the breeze -- til my hair was dry enough to braid back into a
"pig" tail. I stood by the van, using the reflection off of the dark windows as a mirror --
and -- noticed a figure across a clearing -- in what I'd thought was deep woods inhabited
only by birds and maybe a deer.
I turned around and saw a man with a walking stick and sun hat... standing... then
suddenly turning to disappear into the trees on the far side of the clearing.
Now... I hadn't seen a soul for two days. I had heard an occasional vehicle... but, by
all signs, no one ever hiked this area. There were no apparent trails that I could see.
This was not a scenic area sought out by campers for a day hike... and there were few
campers at all. So... HOW THE HELL did some guy decide to go hiking right at the
time I was taking my wonderful nature shower... ??
Even now... writing this weeks later... I don't see people hiking around these dispersed
campsites... except... I do see a guy (the same man...?) taking a walk down the road
with a walking stick and a sun hat. I mean... he doesn't look like a jerk. He just looks
like a decent man who likes taking hikes.
I have no idea where his camp is... if he is camping. I have a theory that he lives in
one of the properties closer to the highway... adjacent to the National Forest land.
He must just have strange timing. I'm resolved that that's all that it was... the
day I took my first wonderful nature shower.
I take extra care now --- well, I forgot about satellite images. Hmm... I need to know
when Google maps takes their satellite images so I don't end up having to be edited
and blurred out of a street view image. Well... here's how I figure it -- I take reasonable
steps to achieve decent privacy, and so... if someone violates that, and thwarts my
attempt at modesty... then the jinx is on them.