Rambling Over Coffee: Pondering the safety of a solo hiking/camping trip this year - because "I'm Just a Girl"

(Photos are from previous trips)

Something in the back of my mind and being pondered, thought over, debated and prayed about is the decision to do my next cross-country "GIRLS ROAD TRIP" except, it wouldn't be plural this time.  Sigh.  Hence the pondering.

It would be singular "GIRL ROAD TRIP 2020" as my camping/hiking partner can't go this year.  

Each year we do a different trip, to a different area of the country.  
This year I really want to head out West again... but a few new areas and at least one new state.

And like it or not, a female traveling alone has to be careful in ways males never even have to consider.  Being in that part of the country with blonde hair and green eyes also makes you stick out like a sore thumb... drawing more attention.

(For the record - I do cross country road trips completely SOLO too.  Very often.  And I also camp and hike SOLO or just with my dogs.  I have to, or I'd never get to go anywhere!  But those are not the same as the trips like this.  Those usually include traveling in safer states, places where there is cell phone coverage, states with safer crime and travel statistics, or places where I know I'm within a days 'help' of a friend or family member if need be. I also tend to stay in hotels for some of those. These bigger 2-3 week trips to the middle of no where are different.  These are the 4,000 mile cross country camping and hiking trips with no power, little cell phone reception, camping and living outside for 2-3 weeks, carrying my own food and water and sleeping in a tent.)

I'm always hyper-aware of safety when she and I travel.  But even so, we've had more than our share of creepers and stalkers.  I have had stalkers and creepers my whole life, so my 'spidey sense' is strong but even so.... I'm not stupid enough to be cocky.  Cocky gets you harmed.

I can't take the dogs with me as 4 of the trails I plan to hike are 'no dog zones'.  Also they have a hard time doing hikes due to knee and hip issues they were born with.

I know I won't sleep if I don't have the dogs with me and if I'm by myself.  I don't even sleep when my camping partner is with.  I hover in that light sleep mode where I'm constantly drifting in and out, alert for all sounds. 

Most of my camping and hiking will be solo and off the beaten path. Because I really, really hate crowds.  However, due to safety, I would plan to stay 4 nights in an actual campground at one point.  (Yeah, one of my pet peeves...  RV-ers, loud generators, dogs barking, kids screaming, other people EVERYWHERE you go, gross bathrooms, loud talking and music far into the night... the list goes on).  But for my safety, and KNOWING I had a place to sleep in that particular area of the country,  I would make reservations there and stay there.

Which is why I'm pondering 'hard' right now.

Because this particular area can get pretty populated and the campground opens up their reservation system 6 months to the day 'out'.  People literally are logging in at midnight to grab a reservation and for permits to some of the places you need a permit to hike in that area.

My window of opportunity is coming up quick.
So I need to make my final decision.

To go or not to go.

And for those of you 'new' to Coffee Talking and don't know little details about me... my husband is a non-camper, non-traveler, non-hiker. He's a homebody who literally goes to work and comes home again.  He doesn't even like running a simple errand.  He will not camp or hike or go on a vacation unless it's the one I plan and book at the beach each year.  In a rental or a hotel room.

There are only a couple people I think I could travel, live and sleep with 24/7 for almost 2 weeks.  But for reasons I'm not going to type out, they aren't actually options.

The easiest thing would be for my husband to come with.  That would instantly give me a level of safety... even though he and I don't travel well together.  However, I've been asking him for a couple months now and nope.  He's more fine with me going all by myself solo than he is with him having to go with.

It really comes down to me, myself and I.

And a lot of details not in this post (obviously).  But it's constantly and consistently on my mind.

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes
I'm exposed
And it's no big surprise
Don't you think I know
Exactly where I stand
This world is forcing me
To hold your hand
'Cause I'm just a girl, little ol' me
Well don't let me out of your sight
Oh, I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don't let me have any rights
Oh, I've had it up to here!
The moment that I step outside
So many reasons
For me to run and hide
I can't do the little things
I hold so dear
'Cause it's all those little things
That I fear
'Cause I'm just a girl
I'd rather not be
'Cause they won't let me drive
Late at night
Oh I'm just a girl
Guess I'm some kind of freak
'Cause they all sit and stare
With their eyes
Oh I'm just a girl
Take a good look at me
Just your typical prototype
Oh, I've had it up to here!