I'd been cooped up in my cubicle for far too long. Though the company has treated me well over the past ten years, it still wears me down to be there every day. I had started to seriously burn out on my job. I'd even considered a career change, wondering if something different would fire me up more and make my life feel like it was worth living again.
It was at that point when I remembered all of my vacation time I'd accrued. The year was half over and I still had three and a half weeks of vacation to burn. Next year, I was going to start getting four weeks of vacation each year, so there was no need to carry over a week and I might as well burn it all this year.
I walked into my supervisor's office and told him I needed some time away. I'd been putting too much time into the office and was losing myself. I no longer had the drive that I used to have and it was likely going to start affecting my work. Luckily for me, my boss was one of those who felt strongly that we should take our vacation time and suggested I take a week to get away. He even went so far as to remind me not to check my work e-mail or voice messages, but to make it a real vacation. That was why my supervisor wins loyalty from his employees. He really seems to care about us.
All the way home to my house, I contemplated what I should do with my week. It was too tempting to just lie on the couch, watching TV and movies, but I realized that there was no way that was going to rejuvenate me. I'd just end up back at work a week later, a week behind, and wishing I could get away.
I needed to get away.
Being raised by a teacher who grew up in the scouting program, I was often treated to wonderful camping trips during the summer. I absolutely loved camping. It felt so good to get away from the cities and enjoy all that Nature had to provide.
That was what I needed to do to get away from work. I wouldn't even have the opportunity to check my e-mail and my cell phone didn't get coverage out at my favorite camping spot. I could take my camera and just relearn myself and Nature.
It didn't take me long to get my camping gear out of the closet and ready to go. I had to swing by the grocery store to pick up enough food for the week as well as restock my supplies that had dwindled the last time I went out and hadn't replaced yet. By 3 o'clock, I was ready to go.
I hopped into my car and started driving out of town. It felt so incredibly good to be getting away from the city. I hadn't realized how much it was dragging me down until I saw it in my rear view mirror and the open road in front of me.
Two hours later, I was pulling off the highway and heading up the winding road towards my campground. I could smell the difference in vegetation along the roadway and it brought back memories of past visits and all the fun I'd had and my heart started beating quicker in anticipation of being out there again.
It didn't take too long before I got to the parking area. My campground was back a couple hundred yards from the roadway. You had to park and then hike your stuff back in to the camping spots. That way, the campers were further removed from civilization and could really relax.
Pulling into the parking area, I took note of the other vehicle already there, hoping they had chosen the campsite furthest from the one I like best. I put my backpack on, which held my clothing and most of my food, as well as my tent and self-inflating mattress. I grabbed a few other items from my car, locked it, and started out along the trail.
It was a very pleasant hike. It had been a while since I had hiked with a backpack, but I found my hiking legs coming back fairly quickly. I was starting to get tired, though, as I approached the campsites.
My heart dropped as I approached my side of the campground and started seeing flashes of color through the trees. The owners of the other car in the parking area must have chosen a spot right next to my favorite. I didn't want to be that close to anybody this week. I started to turn to the right to try the other end of the campground, but something in the back of my mind suggested I give my regular spot a try, just to see how bad it could be.
As I rounded the last stand of trees and came out into my spot, I noticed that though my neighbors were close, a set of trees separated us enough that I would probably feel a sense of privacy, as long as they were relatively quiet.
I sat down on a log at the edge of my spot to rest and to listen to just how noisy they were likely to be. I could hear a relatively quiet discussion going on, which fairly quickly faded into the background noise as the essence of the woods overtook my senses and I melted into my surroundings. When I finally realized that I was just sitting on the log and that I really did need to get my site set up, it became obvious that my neighbors were not going to be a problem. They were quiet and seemed to respect the serenity of the area.
Though it had been a while, putting together my campsite was an easy task. I managed to put myself on auto-pilot and got my tent set up, my things safely stored inside, and my campfire started. I was just starting to heat up some water for dinner when I heard a distinctly feminine giggle coming from my neighbors' direction. Stifling the instant irritation that rose inside of me, I tried concentrating on my dinner, but couldn't help but pay attention to what was going on in the site next to mine. In spite of my desires to be alone, I am a voyeur and that side of me was interested in the goings-on next door, especially if the female offering the earlier giggle was as cute as she sounded.
Before long, my dinner was ready and my neighbors had quieted. As I ate, my mind wandered down the various pathways associated with a voyeur camping near a cute-sounding female. Unfortunately, I didn't hear anything more coming from next door. I was actually surprised by my disappointment in that. I thought I'd come up here to get away from people and was so disappointed when I heard them near my campsite as I arrived and now I was disappointed that I couldn't hear them. What strange twists my mind will take.
I contemplated that as my fire died down and the stars shone brightly down upon my site. Nature had sure put together quite a beautiful view. The temperature was perfect. The stars were absolutely lovely. Even the animals were contributing just the right amount of background noise to make everything feel right. This was exactly what I needed.
I fell asleep, thinking of the wonder that is Nature.
Rising early, I decided it was time to go hiking. I stocked up on granola bars and water, grabbed my camera, then headed out. I have a favorite spot where I like to watch the sunrise. It's something of a tradition for me. My first morning here, I always walk out to this spot to watch the sun first peek over the horizon. Today was perfect. Some cumulus clouds over the hills to the east provided the perfect addition to the rising sun. The colors in the sky sang to me, urging my heart to join in the chorus.
When the sun finally finished clearing the horizon, I took a deep breath, realizing that I'd been in a stupor, mesmerized by the wonder that is a sunrise in the mountains. What a perfect start to the day.
I took the long way back to the campsite, hoping to see some of the woodland creatures as they came out of their burrows. I often see squirrels and chipmunks, usually a few birds, and occasionally a deer. I was not disappointed in the least this morning. My camera definitely got a good work-out.
As I rounded the last stand of trees near the campground, I realized that I was looking at my neighbors' campsite and that I'd need to find a discreet path around their site to get to mine. I'd forgotten that this path came this way, since I rarely have neighbors in that site and having been distracted by the animals. I started to walk along the edge of the trees, trying to keep my distance so as not to disturb my neighbors, when I heard a rustling in their tent. I melted into the trees to try to disturb them even less, when their tent flap opened and a woman stepped out of the tent.
She stretched tired muscles, probably not used to sleeping on the ground, and gazed around at the trees surrounding her campsite. She had brown, wavy hair that reached her shoulders and seemed to be about 5'5" tall. Her back was to me, which denied me the ability to see her face, but her body had terrific shape. She had the wonderful curves that have captured men's hearts for centuries. All of that I noticed peripherally, my mind being almost completely caught up in the fact that she was only wearing panties.
Forgotten was the beautiful sunrise, the playful animals I'd been photographing, almost everything, for that matter. Before me stood a Venus, worshipping the sun and Nature simply by standing in the middle of it.
Another sound from the tent pulled me from my reverie. To my surprise, it was another female voice calling out to the one filling my vision.
"Is it cold out there?" asked the voice in the tent.
"It's absolutely wonderful," replied the Beauty I'd seen. "You really need to come out here and see it."
She then turned to look back into the tent and my breath caught in my throat. She was absolutely stunning. Her breasts were the perfect size and shape and her face was absolutely beautiful. I froze, completely caught up in what I was seeing.
.... There is more of this story ...