Why we like boondocking deep in the woods

One question we get a lot when we talk about our love of being off the beaten path and away from everyone is, “Why? What do you do there.”

Let me share a typical boondocking jaunt for us, very deep in the woods, in the middle of the Pigeon River Country State Forest Area at the very top of the Michigan Lower Peninsula mitt, a 105,049-acre  area so vast it rambles across Otsego, Cheboygan, and Montmorency Counties.


Round Lake in northern Michigan's Pigeon River Country Stare Forest

This is one of our top five favorite places to get away from it all and while I can't technically say we are boondocking – we are in the tiny 10-site Round Lake Campground – it's pretty much the same thing as there are no hookups here. There is no one else here. Just us, in our Roadtrek Class B motorhome.

So what do we do here?

Sit outside and listen to the sound of silence – Yes, silence has a sound. No motors, no highway noise. It's the sound of wind sighing through 100 foot white pines. A string of 50 or so Canadian geese, far overhead, honking their way across a cloudless sky.

An elk went down this trail not long before I did

An elk went down this trail not long before I did

Go hiking with a camera  – There's a great fern-lined hiking trail that makes its way around the tiny little lake, The only other tracks I see are from an elk that took the same route, not long ago judging by their impressions in the sand. I tread as quietly as I can, stopping often, hoping to see the elk. I never catch up with him. The blue sky and big fluffy clouds reflect off the water. The air has a slight chill to it, and it deliciously smells of pine.

We prepare dinner in the Roadtrek – There may be no electricity here but we have our own in our solar-powered RV. Jennifer made a fresh salad and warmed up her world-famous crock pot turkey stew on the stove. We butter some fresh bread we picked up at a bakery on the way up. For dessert, we have fresh fruit. Then, as darkness came, she sits up front to read and I do some computer work in the back.

The Wilson cell booster and the external antenna I have mounted on the RV  has given me a great Internet connection. I write a blog post, check in to our Facebook group and we stream a movie. Snug and comfy in our RV, surrounded by the deep woods.

The wind signs through these pines producing a delightfully soothing sound

The wind signs through these pines producing a delightfully soothing sound

We make the bed and turn in early. It's hard to describe how restful it is sleeping when all about you is nothing but wilderness. Sometimes, late at night, we have awakened to hear deer moving past. At least I think it is deer. Besides elk, there are coyotes, black bear and, some say, wolves in this vast wilderness tract.

So that's why we like off-the-grid RVing. As I re-read this, I worry that it will sound boring to some. It doesn't sound very exciting. Yet to us,  it is. And it has become so much a part of our lifestyle now that we need regular doses of this special away-from-it-all time or we start to go a little stir-crazy.

It's not for everyone. But it sure is for us.