Sleeping on the Ground 2017

My trail bike
Tammany Trace Trail
       North of Lake Ponchartrain.


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Sleeping on the Ground


When you sleep on the ground

With the stars in your face,

You can feel the full length

Of the beauty and grace.

-Dan Fogelberg  “The Wild Places”


I’ve just spent the last two nights sleeping on the ground under the stars.

One night was on a bicycle trip on the Tammany Trace Trail.

The next was on my land in Dry Creek.

Moving into Alexandria has contained many tradeoffs, most of them good.

We seldom miss a grandchild event and enjoy the conveniences of city life.

But I miss the stars. Especially the stars in Dry Creek.

So last night, I did something about it. I spent the spent on the ground. Yes, I was covered in dew, and got a little cold, but the view was worth it.

It was perfect weather.  Low humidity. Cloudless sky. And the night sky showed off as only it can when city lights are absent.

The Milky Way stretched across the sky and I woke from time to time observing the moving constellations. I thought of the Journey song: “The wheel in the sky keeps on turning.”

As morning approached, my old friend the hunter, Orion appeared, accompanied by his faithful dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor. I watched the Big Dipper rise above the horizon, as always pointing toward the North Star.

Rabbit pills. Evidence of trespassing on my land. Or is it the other way around? Maybe I’m the trespasser.

Today, I just felt better about life. I needed those three days on the bike and on foot.

Yep, I needed to sleep under the stars.










Tonight, I’ll sleep in a warm bed beside the woman I love.

I’ll wake up tomorrow to the smell of coffee brewing.

Those are good things. Things that I seem to appreciate and enjoy so much more after a night in the woods.


Question 1: is there such a thing as the adventure gene?  Answer: Probably

Question 2: Can a man still possess it at age 61?  Answer: I certainly hope so. I’m still drawn to those wild places where the stars shine brightest.


In the wild places

Man is an unwelcome guest

But it’s here that I’m found

And it’s here I feel blessed.

-“In the Wild Places.” Fogelberg


Even the beauty of last year’s bird’s nest convinces me there is a Creator God. So do the stars and planets and their clockwork movement.












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