Today I did a little hike to Divide Peak. Divide Peak is a peak overlooking the ocean near Murietta Divide. Murietta Divide is the boundary of the watershed between Ojai and Santa Barbara. It is also the same trail I hiked on the first and second day of my 2009 hike from Santa Barbara to the Pacific Crest Trail. I walked right by the place where I slept on my first night of that adventure. It was nice to be back.
At the summit of the hike, we were at the top of 4700-something foot Divide Peak. Peaks and ridges surrounded us all at similar elevations. I was on the Crest once more. Two ravens floated by cawing. For a minute there I felt like I was back on the PCT in the So Cal section. I felt happy and at home. Everybody I was with (and it was a big group) sort of disappeared for a moment and I was back on the trail.
Lately I have been engaging in little escapist fantasies about living in an RV on the road spending all my time touring BLM and forest service lands. I have been wondering if I should get a van so I could have something to live in on the road. I currently own a pickup truck. Maybe I should get a camper shell instead.
It occurred to me today that an amazing adventure could be had with my truck and my backpacking gear. All I would need is my backpack and gear, a box with some extra gear for colder or warmer weather, a box with some extra clothes and a cooler to store some food. So a camper shell would be sufficient.
I could imagine myself parking at the trailhead and hiking up to Murietta Camp to spend the night. Maybe I could set up a stealth camp near the hot spring that was nearby. Backpacking feels so much safer to me than sleeping in a vehicle. Backpacking is respectable behavior. Sleeping in a car is practically illegal, at least around here. I could do this all over the place. Drive a little, hike in and set up my tent, pack it all up in the morning and return to my car, move on. Stay awhile somewhere nice. Do a few days of hiking at a time. What an awesome way to live that would be!
It's a great fantasy. Back to work tomorrow, sadly.