The Turkeys Don’t Run

We are here.

Set up camp, and then drove five minutes to get to downtown Sacramento. So weird. This is going to be one of the strangest experiences of my life.

This is probably the most intense thing I’ve ever undertaken in my life. The most challenging, the most mind blowing.

For all eleven of us as well. Not just me.

I just want to be free.

I have decided that I am going to work on freeing myself this round. I don’t want to be anything that I’m not– but in a way I do. I want to let it go, and not be a person that worries about the poison nightshade. And the way I do that is by having fun, and focusing on enjoying life more than fearing it.

Last round I focused on calming myself, but might have made myself more uptight in the process. This time I’m taking a new approach. Letting go. Not going to use a Britta water filter for two months- because it’s a pain in the ass, and I physically don’t have a space for it anymore. I can resume my habits when I am no longer camping, but as for right now– all I really can do is let go. Which might be the best thing that’s happened to me in awhile.

So we set up camp, as I said. And then we had a team meeting to discuss how things will start going.

It’s been a pretty dry day, but it’s been a lot of changes. We’re all a bit numb. All need a little time to settle in. I think once we’ve spent the first night in our tents they will become home, but right now it just feels like we don’t really have a home.

We have one fridge, and we have a microwave in the lodge. And then we have a grill, propane stoves, and a campfire to cook on.

Keeping a cooler full of ice and meat and milk by our campsite, but have to put it away every night. As well as put our trash away everynight. “Away” means putting it in the back of the white truck across the park.

I don’t even know, guys. You want to know that kind of detail, or could you care less? Frankly, I could care less about where the kitchen is in relation to our campsite. Except for the fact that there is wildlife all over the area, so it’s important that we distinguish the two places as separate.

So the animals that we coexist with: It’s amazing. Last week I visited with Monica, there was a whole herd of turkey all over the campsite.

Well, guess what. They are still here this week. And they give no fucks. They are the most unshakable turkeys I’ve ever experienced. They are all over, too. I couldn’t even count them. They have the whole plum thing going on, showing off their feathers and their gobbles and not caring about the people, or the geese.

There are also geese just running all over our yard, our park, our new bedroom. They are not scared of anything either.

And lots of other beautiful birds attracted to the river.

HUGE mayflies, or something similar all over the tall grass that we reside in. They hit you in the face as you walk from the campsite to the showers. They are river bugs of some sort.

And then, we went around looking for a dumpster, and wandered to the trailer park that was by our campsite. And it was full of peacocks, in full plumage. Reminded me of being a kid, and growing up with the peacocks. Feel like it’s a sign. Maybe Isaac was smart to run away- maybe it is true that I am the most superstitious person around. But I don’t know, past experiences tied to a new experience always feel like you’re on the right track.

A mix of the right track, and skunk.

Our whole campsite smells like skunk, strongly. We’re told that skunks and raccoon are the thing to watch out for with the food. I notice when we’re putting out sleeping bags in our tents, and our belongings in the tent (which was a whole new ordeal: little did I realize what a minimalist is, I have way too much stuff with me) that there is a huge tuft of hair by Jess and I’s tent. We’re off to the side, by the picnic table– our view is from the pictures I shared.

I try to brush it aside, whatever. Then I keep unpacking, and seeing more clumps of gray/black/white hair. Big clumps. And I realize for sure that it is from a skunk, and I wonder what the fuck happened. And maybe there is a reason why our particular spot smells a little more strongly than the other tents.

Whatever. There is a skunk that lives/was in a battle right next to where I will be putting my head tonight. A bit of flimsy tent material separating us. You know. That’s my life now.

I spread out my world blanket on top of my sleeping bag in my tent, though. And it feels like home. Skunks and all.

Then, we get in the car, and we’re riding to town.

And we made a team mix cd– all the teams did, and we traded ours around. I hadn’t listened to ours yet– but we played it on the way to town as we were dropping people off. And there was just a bunch of “Oh Brother Where Art Though” songs. And Marc Anthony “Vivir Mi Vida.” And then “Imagine” by John Lennon. And then “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks. I didn’t help with this CD at all, but all of these songs are important to me in different ways. And especially the Wide Open Spaces, it was my theme song before heading out here. It’s times like that when, even if I’m not connecting with the people, or the skunks, or the questionable spicket water we will be drinking, it’s all okay. Because this is where I have to be. Where I love to be. Where I will always be. All through life. This uncomfortable, yet comforting growth and progress and stories and life.

I could quite possibly walk back to camp tonight, and all of my possessions are gone. They are laying in a public park, half of them in the tent, half of them strewn out for the world to see due to lack of time. Going to keep most of my stuff in the van, and probably going to bring some of it back to storage in Sacramento. Or else find a nice tree to hide things under.

“Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stoneMany precede and many will follow
A young girl’s dreams no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessedShe needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakesShe traveled this road as a child
Wide eyed and grinning, she never tired
But now she won’t be coming back with the rest
If these are life’s lessons, she’ll take this test,
” -Wide Open Spaces, Dixie Chicks


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