The leaving home ritual
Mentalhealth Life Decisions Camping: I look at the 2 clear latching boxes where we keep all the camping stuff. One box is loaded with kitchen items: a Jetboil, camping dish set, dehydrated meals, spices, instant coffee, tea, homemade sourdough bread, a bottle of Zinfandel among other stuff. The other box is packed with standard camping gear, a hiking tent for 2, sleeping bags, headlamps, inflatable sleeping mats, and compressible pillows.
I have developed a play to effectively leave the apartment and load the car in 3 steps. Includes three trips up and down 2 floors, a fire escape stairs, an extremely slow elevator, and occasionally getting locked-out caused by a nosy neighbor. We have perfected it, and it takes roughly 17 mins to execute. I am hesitant and feeling lazy. But when I look out the window, I see the sun shining outside, while still dark and cold in the dungeon. It is time to GTFO.
Step 1: I have to get the car from the garage; I carry few bags with me, usually my bag-pack and a tiny 8L cooler with homemade salsa, fresh dog food supply, and some protein. I quickly load the car, next to the items that already live in there like firewood, charcoal, a tarp, and hiking shoes. I drive up to the side street of the building. There is an exit door with a hydraulic arm, which can be a nightmare at times. I bought a door stopper. I place it; the door is now fully open and ready to run the play. It has to be quick; I am double-parked.
Step 2: I run inside the storage room, where I was able to cramp the oversize paddleboards. I grab one bag, which includes the board, paddle, leash, and a life vest. I grab the 11ft / 30lb bag and carry it out through tight corners, sweating while wearing a mask, hoping no one closed the door. Someone is trying to take my stopper out; I yell: please don’t!! They look at me like I am crazy as they walk away. I run to the car and place the board on top and secure it.
Step 3: I run now upstairs and tell the wife it’s time to go. We grab the boxes, the food, the dog and walk down. We get in the car, success.
That’s it, we are out
In this chapter of our camping adventures, we are headed to Lake Wenatchee. A beautiful alpine lake, with a camping site, set 5 mins walking distance from the water. Wife sets the map, I get the good old Joe Rogan Podcast to have a mental break, and we start driving. We get on the highway and 2 exits later… Shit! I forgot the hex key for the board fins.
We drive back, and as we turn the corner. We see people outside the dungeon filling the sidewalks, dogs on leashes, people in pajamas standing looking miserable outside. What did we miss? The miserable pajama dog walking day?
We double-park again, and it hits us, the freaking fire alarm is going off! Imagine the most strenuous, loud alarm drilling your brain coming from all emergency speakers of this place. Are we on fire? The dog wouldn’t stop yapping.
I say, fuck it. I need my hex wrench. I run in. This will not mess with my paddleboarding day. My wife runs upstairs to ensure we didn’t start the fire, and we meet in the car again.
This was the cherry on top of the poop cake. A shit cake filled with high fees, neighbors, banging in our paper walls, eternal darkness, car break-ins while parked in the garage, cigarette smell coming through our window, folks open carrying guns in the hallways, and the gold medal of all, the neighbor from downstairs who plays an airhorn to quiet the landscapers when working outside, just surreal.
Back in the car, with shaky hands and fast pounding hearts, we look at each other, and we say, enough is enough, we need to move out of this fucking place. (learn more on how we ended up here)
Life Decisions Camping in Lake Wenatchee and Leavenworth
We finally get to Lake Wenatchee and is absolutely beautiful. 90 degrees, a gorgeous alpine lake, clear waters, and the evergreen forest looks just like Lake Tahoe! This place is so familiar, the smell of pine trees, Manzanita bushes, granite mountains, I feel at home. We set our camp, which usually takes us like 15 mins to do so. As immigrants, we do not carry much stuff; we like to keep it minimalist. We set to explore and spend a gorgeous day outside, paddling, swimming, laughing, eating, and drinking. Life is good again.
The next day, we head down to Leavenworth, and it is actually pretty cool. Corny as it sounds, it does look a bit like the Alps. Tall mountains, the Wenatchee river running through it full of tubbers, campers, beer drinkers, everybody is having a good time while enjoying being outdoor. This is my type of place. We go to a restaurant, the first time in the COVID era; we sit outside and enjoy a nice German Lunch and have one beer enjoying the mountains. It is time to go back to the hole, which, BTW, unfortunately, it wasn’t on fire; it was just a false alarm.
A few hours later, we back in the apartment, but the decision has been made. We are moving out. Our mental health and marriage need it.
We will tell you all about it and take you on this new chapter with us.
How are you been dealing with the COVID lockdown? are you staying healthy? Going crazy? Or taking control?
Drop a like and a comment, I would love to hear about your experience. Thanks for reading Mentalhealth Life Decisions Camping.