Breakfast by the fire

Early breakfast by the campfire

A few more pieces of wood into the fire and I lean back to enjoy my breakfast. Today is my last day on this mountain, in this shelter. It has been a very restful week and while I wish I could spend another one here, I must return to the world below.  I must return to the flatlands.

I stare into the fire sipping on my coffee, and I cannot ignore the hints of chocolate that dance on my tastebuds. Eggs, marinated elk meat, and biscuits are on the menu for my first meal of the day. At this elevation in mid-March, refrigeration is an easy task and I enjoy the fruits of my efforts.

My thoughts drift to an expression that I have read about, many years ago. It went something like this; … if you spend your time in the past, you are depressed, if your thoughts are mostly about the future, you are anxious, but if your thoughts are spent in the present, you are most likely at peace with yourself.

I have no philosophical degrees, yet this seems to make a great deal of sense to me. Whenever I visit my mountain retreats I always feel rested and calm. It does not require much effort to become deeply involved in the world up here. Everything has a purpose and it all seems to fit together, seamlessly.

The noises of the world below are replaced by the birds and the wind. I would have never been able to hear the many songs of the wind in the cacophony of city life. I shudder as these noises disrupt my concentration.

The crackling of the fire attracts my attention to its seductive flame and my eyes are hypnotized by its dance. A form of peace envelopes my being and thoughts of the warm ground and my pleasant breakfast help me appreciate this excellent meal.

Walden Pond, this is not, and yet I often think of Henry David Thoreau when I am alone in the wilderness. To give attribution to Thoreau, it was him who said of his times, … ” nowadays we have professors of philosophy, but no philosophers”. We are an intelligent lot, however, there are times when we appear to over do it. Here in the natural world, it all seems to run on its own time.

Another coffee and another log on the fire will extend my holiday. The journey to the flatland is long and the snow is deep. This refreshing trek will require snowshoes and peaceful mindfulness. I look forward to the rising sun and an exciting day on the glistening snow. Thoughts of floating down the mountain on a shiny carpet of snow quickly bring a warm feeling to my face.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about camping, shelters, and meals in the frozen wilderness, do not hesitate to leave them in the space below.

Have you ever slept on the snow?

Have you ever cooked a meal in winter conditions?


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