Value. It is what drives us all. One way or another, we work, we play, we love, and it all happens because of what we choose to value.

Over spring break, I took some time to roam out into the woods, to spend 12 hours with no electronic devices. The stress and hustle of everyday life sometimes makes me feel like I’m just running forward with blinders on but my time unplugged was a breath of fresh air. I’m just going to share my story of this solo trip and let the value of it be up to you.

Entering the Wild

After work one day, I went straight to one of my favorite spots on the Little River. Pushing off from shore and paddling away from the boat ramp, I could feel the hypnosis of the electric world fade. A cool breeze hit me from the front and it was like I had just passed through a gateway into another world.

Some cold spring water ran down my paddle and onto my hand. The cold of it was refreshing and raw as I entered the wild. After an hour of easy paddling I reached my destination — I was spending the night on the banks of the river right on the inside of a bend. I took my first step out of my kayak and had my foot sink down into the wet sand on the shoreline. I couldn’t waste much time enjoying the small lichen-covered cliffs across the river and the smell of the crisp water — I had to start collecting some firewood for the night. I chose to really go for the no electricity thing and left my headlamp in the car. I was able to set up my campsite just in time to sit my butt down on an old log and listen to a Barred Owl deeply beckon the fall of darkness. His calls gave me such a startling feeling, just being a lone traveler venturing out for a night. A feeling I find myself chasing often, it satisfies my thirst for adventure. I brought along a pack of hot dogs and cooked them over the fire, no buns, no ketchup. I’m a fan of eating them right off the stick — they taste better that way with the smoke still on them right out of the fire.

As I headed in to my tent, some bullfrogs began to talk about their day in the reeds along the shore. They certainly were a boisterous crowd but I enjoyed their company and they seemed to be having a good time too. My sleeping bag was warm and I really enjoyed the sounds of the river pushing along and the smell of a just distinguished campfire. In the morning, I woke up to the sound of some crows, likely hollering about how nice the sunrise was. I got out of my tent and saw that they were right! The red on the horizon was really a beautiful sight and I felt like I had spent this night plugging in my spirit of adventure, rather than unplugging from technology.

As I hopped in my kayak I spotted a big beaver swimming towards me. What an interesting creature, taking all its time to work on making the environment work in his favor just like us, but the most interesting thing was that he didn’t seem to need to hurry one bit to do it. I felt recharged as I took a sip of the cool water from my canteen and leaned back on my small seat. I had plenty of time before I had to be anywhere back in “real life” and decided to let the rivers current take me back to my car.