Its incredible how I can spend days hanging around a nice little town like Payson, AZ putzing with errands and steath camping at Casinos, Walmarts and Home Depots. Then a 'camp buddy' suggests a retreat a few miles south because of cold, windy stormy weather and low and behold..... its wow incredibly beautiful and warmer and only 10 miles from town.....
Yesterday, in the morning our buddy EMT-Sarah said her "see ya laters" and headed north toward home. The rest of us caravaned comfortably to our new south of Payson location around Rye, AZ.
Driving in the mountains has been challenging for me personally for a number of reasons. One being after my nervous breakdown that resulted in my becoming disabled, I have experienced hypersensitivity. it often shows up in unexpected areas of my life when i do something both stressfull and physically challenging. For example, I dont recall being afraid of heights, yet while hiking on the Appalacian Trail not too long ago, I went to take a step down one morning and I was frozen and petrified of that next step. Mind you I had been hiking for days, perhaps weeks....and now im afraid of a step? weird. Well now I also recently returned from living in Costa Rica for quite a while, I havent driven much because the public buses are inexpensive and my last car was a Toyota MRII that I owned in NYC....so now Im driving a van in the mountains in Arizona. The van kind of pushes you down hill and picks up speed incredibly fast. Yup then a panic attack kicks in, im hyperventilating and geez.... the first time I experienced this was on the drive from Arkansas to Arizona. I secretly hoped that Id never drive near a mountain again. Well, Payson is in the mountains. I learned that my van has cruise control - its old enough that the letters were warn off, and someone at RTR was kind enough to show me how to use this kind. And on aother trip EMT-Sarah taught me how to shift an automatic (okay hanging my head in embarrasement) Im generally an East Coast girl....I drive standard, stick shift vehicles just fine...I always wondered why automatics had 'gears' when nobody uses them... so im learning to shift an automatic. And guess what? It actually helps. I am not as panicky going down hill, I am slow and I use my flashers for safety. Please dont laugh too loudly when you wizz past me, okay.
As we arrived near our destination yesterday, I was patting myself on the back for safely and more easily shifting my way down the inclines from Payson, when the amazing view of snow capped mountains and wild flowers starting to bloom appeared. We chose our individual campsites and then went for a walk.....oh my gosh...I was spreading my arms and thanking the blossoms for being there to great me, thanking the Great One for creating the beauty and the day, thanking the bugs......the clouds....the camp buddy who thought to share this place.... WE are so lucky! Those of us who can slow down, perhaps travel, those of us who choose to live closer to the earth and the all that is all we are so blessed and lucky to have our daily experiences. Its absolutely incredible what challenging my risk of fear (driving in the mountains, or living in a van, chosing to be diferent) AND a few short miles can bring!
Enjoy you journey!