Here I sit in the Cuyahoga Valley NP visitors center bawling my eyes out. Today is a struggle day for me and I feel it’s just as important to share these times as all the adventures! I woke up early this morning and left my friend Angela’s beautiful home filled with love and headed out towards Cuyahoga Valley. I had done some research on free campsite near the NP and was feeling excited to access our first off road site. After successfully testing dry camping with the camper in New River Gorge, we were feeling super confident about off road areas.
We finalized a few things and hit the road. We arrived at the trailhead that offered free camping to find out that there was no overnight parking and the only camping that was offered was for people back country camping without vehicles….. So I had my first melt down of the day driving around trying to figure out what to do next and trying to find a road wide enough to turn around….. I HATE putting this rig in reverse and I had to do about 3 10 point turns….. I suppose I should be grateful for the practice but I’m NOT!!!! I decided to shift into another gear after calling 2 local campsites to hear that they were all booked up. We decided to head to the visitors center to check out trails and try to connect with nature! On the way to the visitors center we got caught at a red light in a steep incline and I stalled out trying to get power….. UGH!!!! Enough already….
We arrived at the Visitors Center to get the low down. Usually rangers are so helpful and full of so much amazing information and suggestions. We felt like every question we asked was answered with a “no” or “no you can’t do that here” or “well there’s a city ordinance against that” etc….. We found out there’s really no camping except for KOA’s (which I promise you I will NOT pay to stay at EVER!!!) in the area unless you are being dropped off and have no vehicle and are doing backcountry camping….. (I was fine popping the tent, but there’s NO PLACE to park your vehicle….. Grrrrr) I googled the closest WalMart and decided to focus my attention elsewhere. We went upstairs to watch a ranger program and I sat and texted with my sweet sissy and cried and cried and felt overwhelmed with so many emotions…… The movie ended and we found out that one thing this park has is INCREDIBLE bike trails!!! So we decided to bike to a little old town and have homemade ice cream and bike back. Ahhhhh the day was coming together. I went out to unload the bikes to discover Sienna’s back tire completely flat! I walked it over to an air pump, which died 10 seconds into the process. I walked back over to the ranger center, where I was told “sorry that happens sometimes, it was working fine earlier” great!! I spotted a hand pump and asked to borrow it. I walked back to the bike and tried again to find out the tube must have been popped….. More tears fell and I decided to let them and breathe and just go with it. AGAIN, I walked back to the ranger who told me there was a bike shop about 3 miles down road. I took a deep breath and loaded the bikes BACK on the rack. As I did I noticed the 7 way plug from the camper to the car must have come undone at some point and was all burnt up from dragging on the ground….. UGH!!! Please, please still work, (this is what gives me brakes on the camper, lights in and on the camper, cools the food in the fridge as we drive and charges the back up battery). I tried plugging it in and the lights worked so I assumed all was ok. We loaded up and headed down the road to the bike shop.
We arrived at the bike shop and they fixed us up and got us on our way. The ride was soooooooo nice….. I felt stress gently floating away from me as the breeze blew through my hair on the trail. I grounded into the moment and felt relief. Sienna and I talked and laughed and let the earlier mishaps melt away. I pulled over and did some yoga and felt home back in my skin…… With each connected breath I felt love and hope and smiles and peace drift into my being!!! Ahhhhhh thank you yoga!!! We got to the turn around spot and Sienna threw a fit about the trio not being a loop trail and that just spun me right back into an angry and annoyed tizzy!!! I mean seriously….. Doesn’t she know how hard I just worked to turn the day around!!! UGHHHHHH!!! So we rode back in silence, since that was better than me losing my shit!!
By the end of the trail I was relaxing again since I went through my mala about 4x with my Om mani padme hum chant!!! That’s 424x chanting that mantra…… I wished I felt like Buddha himself, but I was only scratching the surface of my suffering today! So we rallied and started over AGAIN!! We went for some homemade ice cream at Yum Yum Sweet Shop that put smiles on both of our faces! Then decided to grab dinner and fell into wing night at Winking Lizard Tavern (recommended by the nice guy at the bike shop) and felt so much better. We were going to go to the Beaver Marsh for sunset and call it a day.
We got to the car and the battery was dead. I left the camper plugged in but we were only gone about 3 hours! COME ON Universe…… This is crazy! So we mustered up the energy to let go and laugh at the day. We started trying to wave people down for a jump and everyone would just wave back and keep driving. Sienna and I started critiquing each other on to much smile, not enough smile, to much wave, not enough… but no matter how hard we tried to perfect the art everyone just kept driving and waving back……. (Do me a favor, if you see a woman on the side of the road with a young child waving at traffic, please stop and ask if they need anything) After about 25 minutes of this craziness a police officer pulled up and we felt such relief!!! Then he broke the news that it was against ordinance to jump another vehicle due to the electronics they need to keep running in their vehicles…… I picked my jaw off the ground and told him no problem and hoped someone else would stop. Before he drove away, he told me he’d circle back around in another 30 min to check on us. Cool, thanks!!! Finally the car that was parked behind us returned from their ride on the trail and gave us a jump. We showered them with thank you’s and headed toward Walmart to end the day and start new tomorrow.
We got to the Walmart and hit the bathrooms and checked in with customer service who informed us that there was a city ordinance against parking overnight in any parking lots in Marietta, OH and that the night before a truck was towed with a man sleeping in it. The tears started again!! UGH!!! Enough of this already, I was annoyed with myself at this point! But I tried taking my sissy’s advice and decided to be gentle with myself!! I headed to the car and checked the Walmart site and noticed that all the Walmart’s in the area were NOT RV friendly! I scanned the site and found another one about 20 miles away and the manger confirmed we would be fine for the night in their lot….. So off we went!!!
We arrived to find 3 other RV’s in their parking lot, relief set in and I popped the camper up to go to bed….. Only to find that the 7 way plug that burned up earlier must not be connecting to charge the battery and the inside lights didn’t work and the fridge hadn’t been cooling while driving so we lost a lot of food. Seriously!!!!! WTF with this day….. And the flood gates opened AGAIN!!! As I was sobbing I examined the root of the tears (let’s be real, I may be totally PMSing and overly emotional, because this is a little much, even for my deeply emotional self, but there are still truths in all the emotions)…. I just kept getting hit with such deep sadness for feeling alone…. Feeling completely overwhelmed with all the crash and burns in one day…… Wishing I could just crawl into the arms of someone who loves me…… Praying that someday I’ll have a partner to face this world with…… Deeply missing the loving sense of family and home that we just left at my friend Angela’s…… Grasping at my dreams of someday sharing my life with a wonderful man…… Oh the pain is more than I can bear at times and I guess that’s why the tears fall, they just have no other place to go!!! Ugh, there I said it! My secret is out!! This fiercely, bold, brave, independent, I can do anything woman, dreams of being swept off her feet and ravished by a strong and kind and loving man! Someone who chases adventures with her and holds her in the night….. Someone to share her life with and give her love to….. Someone who will encourage her dreams and feed her fire and calm her restless soul…… Someone she can love hard and long and won’t be afraid of all that she is!! As I type this the tears dry and I feel my heart beat freely again and I remember that I don’t have to live in fear of this never happening because I have tasted it on my very own lips….. This can and will be my life!! I claim that now to the wise and magnificent Universe and a smile surfaces on my face…… And I know I have spoken my truth and it shall be so!!!
Here’s to a new day tomorrow and knowing lots of lessons were learned today!!
Love & Light Me