July 13, 2014

Bivouacking

Another beautiful out of the way bivouac in the center of
a small New Brunswick town.

I have always loved the quick, no-frills, independent nature of bivouacking. It makes me feel light and free.

I am familiar with bivouacking from my experiences backpacking in the Rocky Mountains. The term describes a light, temporary (overnight) shelter or resting site, usually on the way to a distant destination.

The requirements were minimal, and sites were chosen for convenience and ease of use. Most often they were beautiful as well. Being unofficial and random, they were always free of charge.

Sometimes while in the wilderness we would string a tarp as a minimal shelter under the trees. At other times we slept open on the ground, laying our sleeping bags right on the trail. The next morning all we had to do was get up, have a bite to eat, shoulder the back pack and keep on hiking.

More recently, since leaving the west coast June 1st Linda and I have spent 20 days and 20 nights traveling. Each of the nights has been bivouacking. Each day we drive until a couple hours before sunset, then start looking for a temporary site to park for the night.

Requirements? It must be not far off our route, and it must be free. And if it is naturally gorgeous near a lake, ocean, or river, so much the better. But it could also be a Walmart parking lot.

Over the past 20 days we have bivouacked at truck stops, museum parking lots, gravel side roads, roadside pullouts, visitor information buildings, rest areas, and yes, even Walmart parking lots (we did NOT go inside the store).

We have had a different temporary stop every night creating a memory-taxing, lengthening list of  locations. But each of those changes is followed by the comfortable familiarity of the highway in the morning.

While it is generally true that some may wish to limit the possibilities for bivouacking, preferring that you pay to sleep, with a little imagination and patience one can always find a quick, no charge temporary site to rest from a day of constant motion.

This is true for the mountain wilderness as well as the wilderness found on the road from coast to coast.

It is good to know that commerce hasn't taken over absolutely 100% of our land and our lives. I love that we can still bivouac and be free.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 13, 2014

    Being able to bivouac for that many nights while traversing the most popular trans-Canada route in the middle of summer is indeed an encouraging report. Hope the capitalists and developers don't discover this little gem!

    And thanks for that new word addition to my vocabulary!

    Yes, it sure will take time to process the past 43 days! It took me over a decade to fully download and integrate my experience living in a van for a summer with no agenda of where I would end up living (1992). Truly, I am still integrating that one 12 years later.

    One thing is for sure, everything has shifted, changed for you and Linda internally and externally. Looking forward to hearing your "new-seeing" reflected in your posts! But remember to BREATHE!

    Terri

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