The best part of having a vehicle that is always packed for adventure and capable of handling less-than-smooth terrain is that no place seems off limits anymore.
If I’m driving and see an intriguing road, I can turn off and see where I end up. If the destination is majestic, setting up camp only takes a couple of minutes. This last minute exploration delivered more than I had expected.
Cooper’s Lake, Montana
This random solo adventure took me to Cooper’s Lake, Montana – just slightly passed Ovando and onto gravel backroads. This was a first time destination for me, but I am already convinced that it won’t be my last. After discovering this gem I already have the notion to return with kayaks and paddleboards in tote.
Cooper’s Lake is a place of bliss. A lake that is engulfed in a beauty that is nearly unrivaled. Heavy forest ladens the land as the mountains jut up from the horizon in a fashion that makes you truly feel secluded. The shoreline only contains four camping spots, but they were all empty upon my arrival. While the weather wasn’t the most favorable, slightly brisk and consistent rain, the conditions made for near perfect reflections on the water. A scene that demanded all of my attention – I was fortunate enough to not have any cell service, but on multiple occasions the urge overcame me to put my camera away and just bask in the calm nothingness that my surroundings had provided me.
Montana has been gracious enough to provide me with many phenomenal views, in which photos don’t do justice, but there was just something that captivated me about Cooper’s Lake while I found myself sitting solo on water’s edge with large eyes and a relaxed yet anxious mind. It instantly hooked me and reserved a place in my memory that has been reserved for only the most special of places. Many of the locations that fill up that space not only represent the essence of Mother Nature’s splendor, but they also have amazing memories with friends tied to them. Cooper’s Lake, however, left me all by myself – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
While sitting there in my thoughts, my adoration for being secluded in environments like this took over:
10/7/16 Cooper’s Lake, Montana
What does it mean to be alone?
To be alone is to find the feeling of content within yourself. To live alone happily, one must find beauty within the world itself.
Once you can do that you will realize that you aren’t alone at all. Your energy is transcribed into others and vice-versa.
You are connected to a being larger than yourself and your energy in and of itself is a social mechanism that flows without effort.
To be happy alone is to find peace just being connected to the world.
Those thoughts put me to rest easy that night and in return I woke up with a sense of content flowing throughout me that left me feel as if I was floating – not a care in the world. I decided to take the long way home – a random left hand turn took me up Huckleberry Pass, which was all gravel and an ideal playground to stretch the wagon’s legs out on, which dropped me out in Lincoln, Montana. My one hour drive home turned into nearly three hours of bonding with both the world and my car; for anyone that truly knows me, they know that scenario is absolutely perfect for my life.
Reaching the point of my life where I actually yearn for alone time has completely transformed my outlook on life. Peace and satisfaction are now found within myself, and when my friends and family can join me in indulging from time to time that feeling of satisfaction is multiplied tenfold. While being alone is not for everyone, and I understand that, reaching this stage of life melts away worries, doubts, and boredom. A simple walk or venture into the unknown can refresh your mind like no other and aid in realizing that you don’t need other humans to not being lonely – you just need to open yourself up to the notion of being fully connected to your surroundings.