All By Myself

As an only child, I am use to doing things by myself. While I am a social creature, I enjoy hanging out with just me...Well, and my dog! The way I see it, I am not going to let an opportunity pass me by if I can’t find anyone to join me. When hiking, I always make certain to let someone know where I am, what path I am going to take, and when I return. This of course is common sense as anything can happen.

While I often do things on my own, I remember awhile back in my early 20’s attempting to do activities on my own and feeling quite nervous about it. I will never forget the first time I attempted to go to the movies by myself. I was anxious, but wanted to try. I figured, if I had a horrible time, I would never, ever go to the movies alone again. As I entered the theater, I took  a deep breath and went for the plunge, purchased popcorn (because I can’t resist movie theater popcorn), and took a seat. This particular theater was small, and as the previews started I settled in for the next hour and a half.  At the end of the movie, I felt proud for accomplishing this achievement. Sure, it wasn’t much, but at that time in my life, it was a big deal. Walking out of the theater, I was relishing in the fact that I had watched a movie in the theater all by my lonesome when a guy came up to me and said “excuse me, I was watching you in the theater and the way you eat your popcorn, is very strange.”
Talk about making a person feel self conscious! I am not certain if the guy was using a poorly executed pick-up line or what his deal was, but my little triumph quickly was taken away from me. It was some years later that I mustered the courage and went back to the theater alone, and the next time(s) I did, happy to report were a success (and yes, I still bought and ate the popcorn)!

A couple of weekends past, I went camping on my own for the first time. Friends came out and met me for a fun-filled day, but the evening was mine and mine alone. I looked forward to the solitude of hanging out in the wilderness with my dog, dining on a gourmet meal of Cassolette, and reading my book.
Hike to Grouse Lake
As the evening started to roll in, I began the process of preparing my meal. I had brought with me a propane camping stove to cook on. I tightened the knob on the propane and immediately that propane smell started wafting from the stove. The stove was off. Scratching my head, I unscrewed the propane, checked the valve and then screwed it back in only to have my stove go up in flames. Startled, I gave a yelp and stood there shocked, staring at the flamed induced stove. Time seemed to move in slow motion until I snapped out of my flame like trance and unscrewed the propane all while being careful not to get burned in the process. I ended up cooking my meal on the fire which in my opinion, only adds to the romance of camping.

This make not look like much in the orange bowl, but it was delicious, thanks to Allez!
I am still unclear to what happened with my stove, but at least I am alive to tell the tale. And unlike the movie theater story above, I won’t let a little ol’ stove malfunction stop me from getting outside, camping, and enjoying my own company!

Wright's Lake

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