A couple weeks back, I had an opportunity to return to an area I haven't been in over a decade. It's just outside a small town called Ardbeg, in Ontario. Ardbeg has always been a bit of a magical place for me. It's Crown Land, up here, Crown Land is land that's open to the public (within reason). You can camp, wheel, swim, fish, etc. It's 45 minutes from the nearest "city", and the view of the sky at night is the stuff dreams are made of.
In any case, the reason I hadn't been back in over a decade was mostly all my own fault. Shortly after my last trip out there, I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, followed by recovery, and decision to do a frame up restoration of my YJ. After a few years of the restoration, I bought the TJ, and started building it. I moved, had a kid, got an Implanted Defibrillator, you know, the usual "life goes on" story. I have wheeled a bit here and there, but Ardbeg was always just out of reach. Mentally I was (am?) still dealing with the fact that this old body just ain't what it used to be. I finally put it behind me, and my buddy and I took off for a weekend of wheeling and camping.
From my place to Ardbeg is a solid three and a half hours. I was ripping along the highway with the top down, wind in my hair and sun on my face. Happy that my little Jeep was able to hold 100km/h on the highway.
We arrived just after lunch, setup camp, and hit the trails. A solid 6 hours was spent between the North and South trails, and we only ever completed about a third of each. Plans are laid to go back up and follow the North trail, it just kept getting better and better.
We settled in for dinner around 7, enjoyed some canned cuisine on the BioLite, followed by a campfire, an awesome view of the stars, and a decent enough sleep.
The weekend rebooted me. Made me realize that my time here is limited, and that's OK, as long as I spend my time here doing things I love, with people I love to be around. I'm excited to go back next year and take on the North trail, and in a couple years, to bring my little guy on the trails with me.
A seemingly innocuous trip to a little town managed to set me completely straight, and finally got me over the baggage I've been carrying so long. It's good to be back.