All to myself

Once upon a time, my first stop on a multi-day hike was at the shore of Clarksville Pond. I had a “reservation” for a spot to pitch my tent, meaning I had phoned the landowner and asked permission to stay on her property. She insisted that I take one of her cabins instead – “the weather can be nasty.” When I saw the shoreline spot she had set aside for me, it was like I’d won the lottery. I never got to thank her in person; all our dealings were by phone. Solitude at its finest: just me and a loon and the sound of a little boat bumping gently against the dock as the wind picked up. No lullaby needed.