Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

The Serenity of the Mountain


My second week as a Dam guide began with rainy, cold weather, an ill-conceived plan and the help of strangers. One of the girls who works at the dam told me there were free camping spots up here, so trying to conserve money until I begin drawing two paychecks on Tuesday, I only brought 20 dollars with me. That’s enough for one night of camping, or one night of dinner at the lodge and a couple packs of cigarettes. Well there certainly is plenty of free camping here, in fact anywhere on the BLM land is free. Unfortunately, none of the campsites are improved, so basically it involves pulling off the highway and pitching my tent. I didn’t have a really good feeling about that, so when I arrived Friday morning I immediately began considering spending one night then driving down the mountain and back up again. That plan, however, would involve just as much money as if I’d paid for two nights in a campground.


Battling with myself about chickening out of my grand plan to live on the mountain for three days of the week, I threw my dilemma out to the girls at the dam. One of them mentioned that Russ and Anita, the old sea captain and his wife, the divemaster, had their RV parked at the Firefighter’s Memorial Campground through Labor day. Being stubborn about not asking people for help, I spent the first four hours of my shift vascillating between driving down the mountain and camping alone in the forest. I finally swallowed my pride, (which was very hard going down,) and called them to ask if I could possibly poach a tent site in the camping spot. Although I’ve worked with them several times and think they’re good people, we don’t really know each other and they certainly had no obligation to surrender their solitude and have me as a guest. But when I called, Anita didn’t hesitate to say “sure, come on over. Check with the camphost and if it’s okay with her you’re welcome here.”


When I arrived at the campground, the host, Pam, said they’d already talked to her, and if I could fit my car into the spot alongside their truck, there wasn’t a problem. As it turns out, I couldn’t fit my car next to theirs, but Pam told me I was welcome to park it on the street, which is heavily patrolled by UHP, Dagget County Sheriffs and the BLM. So I pitched my tent, unloaded my car and had a safe, pleasant home for the evening.


After setting up camp, I didn’t want to hang around and cramp Russ and Anita’s style, so I drove down to the Deer Run campground, which is a few miles down the road. After eating a sandwich and cottage cheese for dinner, I donned my jogging clothes, plugged my MP3 player into my ears, and took a little jog down to the boat ramp. As I headed down, (I jog down the mountain because it’s easier,) the sun was just dipping below the mountain, and the flat clouds that covered the sky were turning pink. After being on my feet for ten hours, I wasn’t sure how motivated I would be on my jaunt, but when I reached the boat docks the water was still and clear as glass, the temperature had warmed up and with the pink ceiling of clouds reflecting off the water, I felt refreshed and invigorated. I didn’t want to stop moving, but wasn’t quite ready to run back to the top of the boat ramp.


This is the same boat ramp that I spontaneously jumped off of a few weeks ago with Tim, so I wandered out on the courtesy dock to watch the sun set. There were a few people a few hundred yards away taking boats out of the water, and the marina full of boats about 300 yards away on the other side, but other than that I was all alone. Apparently this particular dock has a way of motivating me. I took off my sweatshirt, (I had a tank top on under it,) laid it down on the dock, and proceeded to do about 150 sit ups and 100 leg lifts. I looked at the clouds and the mountains around me as I exercised, and it was as if I could feel all the energy of my surroundings flowing through me. I’ve never appreciated yoga much, but at that moment, I suddenly understood the power of being one with yourself in the universe.


The old me never would have thought to drop down on a boat dock and start exercising, and even as I was doing it I thought to myself, “You really should feel funny about this, or afraid about being here alone, or find something to freak out about.” But as hard as I tried, I couldn’t find anything wrong with

August 18, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. […] Cables & Docks News » News News The Serenity of the Mountain2008-08-20 10:14:52The old me never would have thought to drop down on a boat dock and even as I was […]

    Pingback by Solar Energy: Handouts for the Rich · | August 20, 2008 | Reply

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