Parenting & Other Life Stories

What’s Out There

It’s the middle of the night and it is so black out that I think I’ll get lost in the darkness as soon as I take a step away from the trailer. However, the old boy has to go, he just can’t make it through the night like he used to and he is quivering on all four paws waiting for me to get my shoes on.

All I can think about as I throw open the trailer door is the park ranger stopping by earlier this evening to give us a warning about the bear seen walking the road right May 27, 2019 darknessbehind us. The night is entirely silent. I scan the darkness already feeling like something is watching us. We hurry down the stairs and we are forced to move toward the edge of the forest and away from the over-sized camp mat.

Without warning an animal screeches in the night and I freeze, breath caught, and heart thundering. The dog is peeing happily and he is completely oblivious to what I am sure is our impending death by bear. Something creaks and then another animal screeches. I am sure something is watching and all the hairs on my neck are standing; it’s all I can do to keep from running like mad back to the trailer.

Suddenly the dog is in a hurry to get out of the night. I am scanning around frantically as I usher him up the metal stairs. I charge up after him after him and slam the door breathing heavily.

By Shari Marshall – 2019

June 14 2019 image 1

6 thoughts on “What’s Out There

  1. Sounds like camping in your territory is a bit more scary than here in Australia. There is only the odd crocodile here and only if you are silly enough to camp in their environment.

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  2. Not much comfort late at night, but typically unless you almost physically bump into a bear, they are OK and will leave you alone. If you were in grizzly country, yeah, a bit scarier than black bear country. The other night I heard a screech owl – it sounded like a woman being brutally murdered – I’m sure if you heard something like that it wouldn’t do much for the nerves 😉

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    1. We camp in grizzly and black bear country. There is something about the senses and imagination at night that can certainly keep things entertaining.

      The owl screeching could make for an interesting story.

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  3. Once when backpacking a certain trail in eastern California, I made a turn that brought me almost face to face with a bear. He was busy clawing his mark into a tree and seemed not to have noticed me as I slowly made my retreat. That night, my imagination, normally a valued friend, turned on me by turning almost every night sound outside my thin backpacking tent into some kind of bear sound. It would not allow reason and resulted in one of the worse camping nights I can recall.

    Tread carefully oh man and recall that while in this valley, you are also in the food chain.

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