During a camping trip to Lake Nacimiento over Easter weekend two years ago, a solitary camper caught and held the attention of our entire crowd. We nicknamed him “Scooter-Man,” and we all enjoyed witnessing his independence as he came in alone, set up his campsite (pulling everything out of what we imagined to be a clown-car sized storage compartment, supplemented with multiple trips to the store), and kept defiantly to himself. He proved an excellent distraction from the somewhat depressing, half-empty drought-impacted lake.

Maybe he needed time alone to recover from a bad break-up. Maybe he’d recently escaped from a local prison. Whatever the reason, he clearly wanted to be alone. Apparently, this is not unheard of. People hike alone, sail around the world alone, why not camp? We hadn’t seen that up close before, and we were interested in his story, and admired his determination.

Question: Do you think he was flourishing in bad circumstances not of his choosing, or thriving in self-imposed isolation?

Either way, we respected his right to privacy, tipped our sun visors in his direction, then went wine tasting in Paso Robles.

“Cheers, Scooter-Man!”

Here’s a little tribute (to the tune from the Spider-Man TV show):

Scooter-Man, Scooter-Man,
Goes wherever a scooter can
Builds a tent, one man size,
Un-wedged from scooter’s sides
Look out!
Here comes the Scooter-Man.

“Camps alone?!”
Listen bud,
He’s a regular camping stud
“Can he bring all he needs?”
From the store, yes indeed
Hey, there
There goes the Scooter-Man.

In the chill of night
At the scene of a camp
With just one headlight
He arrives like a champ.

Scooter-Man, Scooter-Man
Friend-less optioning Scooter-Man
Smores and flames
He’ll abstain
Solitude is his aim.

To him, life is a crowded landscape
Where there’s a place to escape
You’ll find the Scooter-Man.

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