The decrease in elevation, even this little of a change, always has a profound impact on my mood. I left camp today for a short break in my summer, returning home to the lower ground, missing the mountains almost as soon as they were out of sight. The drive home is less than spectacular, crossing state lines to sand and long needle pine trees, I watch in my rearview as the mountains slowly disappear. But I drive closer to home, closer to the three dogs I’ve left for the summer, closer to my SO who supported my decision all along, closer to my home – although it lay a mess from a recent fire – and my warm, comfortable bed. I’m giddy, and the drive takes longer as I fight anticipation.
My homecoming is not unlike the one I have after each trip, anticipating the comfort of a real bed and a warm shower. While I’m out the trail consumes me, immersing myself in my trip I enjoy it completely, but the closer I get to home the more I long for the everyday comforts of home. I love camp, I love the mountains that I get to stay in, and the whole time I am there I am completely immersed, swallowed by the magic. But the closer I get to home – or my day off – the more I miss it, and the conveniences.
So tonight I will cuddle in my bed, and gladly lose my spot to one of my dogs. I will stand a little too long in my shower enjoying the consistent water temperature and pressure. I will childishly demand his attention the entire time I am home. And when it’s time for me to leave, I’ll be somber and homesick. But I will return to the mountains, and my heart will be full in a different way.