Sept. 16, 2012

When I tell city people about camping out for weeks or months at a time, they just laugh. They can’t conceive of it. Long-term camping, hitchhiking and the very cheap way I travel are all things many people can’t identify with. People tune me out or think I’m nuts when I tell them about these things. It’s best not to care if people don’t understand.

Aspies are unemotional (in expression and inter-personal communication) and very thorough.  An Aspie like me learns things slowly, in steps, and then I put things back together in a new, original, totally Aspie way. Aspies are usually very smart; we are smarter than the average NT but, because we don’t attempt to learn or do things the NT way, most Neuro-typicals can’t comprehend the scope of our intellects. Aspies are one of the first disabled groups to challenge Neuro=typicals’ efforts to manage and control them.

I am camping in Ojai, California for three months during the summer and early fall of 2012. This is a good way for me to be out in nature and to save money for my next trip. Here is a photo of my tent in the woods by the Pratt Trail. I got rid of this tent in September 2012 (I gave it to my friend, Chuck, in Ventura); I was feeling confined by it. I began sleeping out on the ground both in this same spot and, as in the pic below the tent pic, in a few other places around Ojai.

This is my tent hidden in the Ojai, California woods near the Pratt Trail in the Los Padres National Forest. August 2012

In the picture above, you can see my sleeping bag spread out on top of my tarp and the rain fly of the tent I gave to Chuck. (Yeah, I kept the fly: it’s rain-proof and warm.) This pic is farther up the Pratt Trail. It was a spot that was on too much of a slope to be comfortable; it was also ground that was riddled with holes from some kind of rodents (I assume). These critters didn’t make an appearance a month or so earlier when I slept in my tent right near this spot, so I assumed they wouldn’t be here either. But I did hear an animal digging in the ground under my pillow during the night. I hate that! I feel like I’m either killing the animal or at least preventing it from coming out to hunt.

Raising kids requires that a person slows down to the kids’ speed which is very slow. People who haven’t raised kids can’t understand this.

Culture shock is a form of PTSD. It’s a form of insanity.

I am currently making the jump to international consciousness. Since I was a little kid, my family’s focus has been on Europe. I have approached American life like the “Third-Culture Kid” I am: Old World-consciousness from my parents; adoptee; person with Asperger Syndrome. Now that I’m starting to travel around the world on my own, I realize my awareness of the world is not and can not be rooted in American values, mores and beliefs.I am starting to read and conduct my life on a wider basis.

I used to befriend the local bums; I thought those men (in particular) were wild and free Gypsies. Nomads. They aren’t. They are a whole different group. My boyfriends from the street-people groups in Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Berkeley, California were strictly local boys. They didn’t travel or move around, not even between California cities. They were mostly city people, and they were all either alcoholics or pot-heads, often both (so they couldn’t move around freely). These men had friends and alliances in their towns/cities that they didn’t want to leave. And they weren’t at all the wise, free, wild people I thought they were; they just looked the part.

Last night a coyote was howling and yipping for a long time in a spot not half a mile from my camp where its voice echoed off the canyon walls. The coyotes often converse across the barranca, with one moving away and howling/yipping and the other staying put and returning calls.

I am befriending people now who celebrate me, people who don’t just tolerate me. I am giving up the “friends” who just tolerate me.

People with a lot of money want power and control. Here’s what Tami Hoag writes about the very rich:

From the outside looking in… the world of the wealthy seems easy and wonderful. But every kind of life has its price and its pitfalls. In a lifestyle where there are no boundaries, it becomes a challenge to find one’s true self. If everything comes easily, there’s no way to establish worth. And if nothing has real value, then there is no way to gauge satisfaction or accomplishment or contentment.

Tami Hoag on people without children:

     I had grown used to being as irresponsible as I wanted to be, to being as spontaneous as I wanted to be. I could be as selfish and headstrong as I wanted. I resented ever having to compromise my time, my plans. I didn’t have to be considerate of someone else’s schedule or expectations.

And Hoag on horses:

     All my life I have preferred the company of horses to people. Horses are honest, straightforward creatures without guile or ulterior motive. You always know where you stand with a horse. I can’t say the same for human beings.

Below are two more camping pics, both up around the Pratt Trail.

Me, at dusk, at site of sloping, hole-ridden ground. Sept. 2012

My earrings hanging from a branch at my camp. Sept. 2012

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