On October 16th, 2021, we took our first fall camping trip to a sweet little primitive spot on the Eglin AFB reservation known as Indigo Pond. The pond is far in the woods, but near civilization, you just wouldn’t know how close you are. Camping at Indigo Pond is enough to get away and find the peace we were hunting for. After we take a few turns on the paved roads, we eventually make it on to the unpaved, setting the scene and getting our spirits in the zone for peace and tranquility.
With fewer road signs and limited view with the trees closing in on the road, we shift our attention to the map in order the navigate safely. We put the windows down, turn off the radio, and listen. Nothing but silence. And silence is a wonderful sound. The dogs are now alert and perked up, with heads lazily resting out the window and noses pointing to the sky. The silent hum of our vehicle approached the last turn where we meet the welcoming wooden sign. Indigo Pond.
Camping at Indigo Pond
We arrive around noon, as the sun is highest in the sky and the shadows are minimal from the trees. We slowly make the curve around the north side of the pond. Passing by another small family that has already set up a pleasant camp, equipped with two hammocks, a bug canopy, and two tents. A small hand wave to our neighbors for the night, then we continue on to our favorite spot, which luckily is open for the taking. Our favorite spot is just along the edge of the pond along the far east.
Camp is within a perfect distance of the pond with the forest to our back. We drive in and position the car under a few tall pine trees and unhook the tear drop camper. Leaving the teardrop camper in position near the fire pit and a beautiful view of the pond for the morning.
We spend a few moments running around the camp site finding familiar memories from the last trip. Not much has changed, and that’s how we like it. As minimalist campers, it doesn’t take us over 15 minutes to set up camp. Open the hatch to the teardrop, pull out the chairs and mat, carefully positioning around the fire pit. We set a few other minor details up in no time. Our solar lights are getting a charge while the sun is still up, and we set the hammock between two pine trees near the pond. Perfect.
Exploring the Site
We grab the fishing rods and walk the short distance to the edge of Indigo Pond for a few casts and maybe some early luck. The echo of crickets and buzzing beetles surrounds us. The occasional splash turns our attention to the middle of the pond.
Camping at Indigo Pond doesn’t come with a lot of ‘things’ to do. Other than relaxation, quiet, and plenty of time to make memories and enjoy the company of family and nature. That’s the way we prefer it. No need for a swimming pool, paved bike trails, or a gift shop. Not really a need for a shower or facilities. Just us and the woods.
After spending hours fishing, exploring the trails, capturing photos of wildflowers, napping in the hammock, reading, and a friendly but intense game of outdoor air darts, the night closes in.
The best part of camping is the night. Sitting close around the fire, finishing a small home cooked meal together, and talking about God, our dreams, and the fish that played games with our lure today, are what we live for. The night surrounds us quick. Blanketing our good day in a thick black canvas. The trees cast shadows from the moonlight and the flickering of fireflies are seen in the distance along the edge of the pond. The moon is extra bright tonight. Allowing our sight to hone in distant features easier than before. A wave of burning timber fills our noses from the spit and crack of the fire.
After a few camp stories and some laughs, we put away what we need and settle in for the night. The chirp of insects and silent night put our minds at rest and sleep isn’t far behind.
Waking up in the Woods
After a good night’s rest, we wake to the frigid chill of the morning air. We slowly ease out of the warm comfort of our bed, grab a light jacket, and start prepping the morning fire. Thick fog blankets the pond, masking any view beyond 20 feet from its shore. The morning sun greets our face with warmth, reminding us how grateful we are to experience nature in this way. The silence of the morning and the heat from an early fire will start the day with a rational mind. The ground is moist and the firewood is damp from the night before, making a fire challenging but not impossible.
Indigo Pond is crisp and glimmering from the sun’s rays. The birds are chirping and the insects are already making their rounds, buzzing about the wildflowers and skimming the water. After a light breakfast, we enjoy a few more hours of hammock reading and fishing along the pond edge. The adventure is coming to a close, but the experience will be with us forever. Something about nature that draws us in on more occasions than not. The simplicity, honesty, peaceful, and raw aspects are all things to expect and enjoy among nature.
Life is full of adventure. Take the road less traveled. Take the road that’s unpaved.
Do you enjoy spending time in nature? Nature is a great way to find clarity and relax. Read Mindfulness is Awareness for ideas to find mindfulness. If you enjoyed our adventure diary, don’t forget to subscribe. More adventures to come!