I stood by the pay station at Capitol Reef National Park’s Fruita Campground, on the fence as to whether I should pay for one night or two. The debate had little to do with money. My trip had felt like it was in hyperdrive and slowing down was a challenge. Two nights in one spot? Really? Finally, I dropped a twenty in the fee envelope. Two nights, no refunds. Time to chill out.
After parking my 4Runner in a spacious site under a cottonwood tree I decided that I wouldn’t move the truck for the next two days. Capitol Reef was going to be my place to relax. No driving. It was time to slow my “go, go, go” pace.
It’s remarkable the extent to which chilling out takes practice. Winding down my first night in the campground took time and it was only on day two that I really felt like I was in a groove.
Sometimes a fast pace is necessary but one thing that I want to work on is the transition from fast to slow. My second day at Capitol Reef felt so relaxed. I went for a hike to pick apples and pears, cooked breakfast, played chess, made friends and practiced juggling. But much of my first night was transitionary and it would have been great to be able to hit the “chill out” switch and be in relaxation mode more quickly.