There is so much freedom to be found in nature. The freedom that comes from knowing that you have everything you need to survive. The freedom that comes from knowing that you are healthy and strong and can go anywhere. The freedom that comes from knowing that you are just a small part of a vast world, teeming with life. But, the freedom I feel when I’m out in the woods also leaves me feeling nostalgic when the gravel roads turn to pavement again and the views of mountains and rivers fade. I feel nostalgic for simpler days and a different way of life.
Last week we spent a few nights camping in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. We packed the car with our tent and sleeping bags, some food, and two dogs and hit the road with the atlas in hand. I’m usually the kind of girl who needs a plan, but somehow, on trips like this I’m able to let go of all the fear and worry and just explore. We spent one night on Goose Lake and woke up to the glow of morning light on the dark evergreens, herons dancing with one another in the distance, and a bald eagle effortlessly scooping its breakfast from the water. We spent the day exploring forest service roads, stopping to hike or swim and belting Wagon Wheel.
That night we camped at Lewis River and woke in the morning to Roux’s wet nose pushed up against the mesh of the tent door. Another hike and another swim later, we settled in to make our favorite camp breakfast: eggs, greens and toast. But, not just any toast. This is the best kind of toast there is. I love how every part of the bread soaks up the liquid gold, buttery goodness. I also love that making this toast right requires time, patience and focus. It epitomizes what I enjoy most about being in the woods; the fact that life is distilled down into our basic needs, the fact that life slows down and each task becomes more deliberate and intentional. There isn’t room for distraction or multi-tasking. In the woods life is about doing one thing at a time, putting one foot in front of the other on the trail, and savoring one piece of really good toast.
*Thank you to Finex for providing the skillet pictured above. All opinions are my own.
Here’s how to make skillet toast: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Slather both sides of a piece of bread with plenty of good salted butter. Fry the bread on one side until it is crispy and golden and all of it’s pores are saturated with melted butter, then flip it and do the same to the other side.