I Survived Labor Day Weekend

I was sure we were going to die.


My last ditch effort to live was going to be to grab my car keys and press the panic button.

But I didn’t dare to move.

So I lied there, warm in my sleeping bag, listening to Nathan breathing evenly as he slept and tried not to jump at every little sound outside of the tent.

SOMETHING was definitely out there.

And, of course, in the middle of the night, things always look scarier, sound louder, and have far worse consequences than they would in daylight.

Whatever that THING was, I was sure it was big and mean so I determined it would be one of the following wild animals:

  1. Cougar
  2. Bear
  3. Coyote

It couldn’t possibly be something smaller like a raccoon or owl. And for sure, I was more scared of it than it was of me.

Every now and then, I heard shuffling of sleeping bags from the other tent, and then somebody said something.

“WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?!” James yelled from the other tent.

Okay. Fine. If I wasn’t scared before. Now I’m sure. James must have peeked out and saw whatever SOMETHING is out there. And he didn’t like the looks of it.

Officially terrified.

And waiting for a shotgun to go off and save us.

But there’s no zipper sound telling me that anybody in the other tent (where two of them do have shotguns nearby) are getting out to save my life.

Back to my only option: if I move enough to get my arm out of my sleeping bag, reach up and grab my car keys, will that mean the BEAST just outside of our tent will pounce? Or will I have enough time to hit the panic button? The car’s not far away. It should be pretty loud.

Eventually, I fell asleep. And then would wake up at the slightest noise outside and get scared all over again.

When morning came and we crawled out of our tents, alive, we didn’t see a single animal track in our campsite. There wasn’t even the tiniest tear in our garbage bag hanging on the tree. Nothing.

Apparently, cougars/ bears/coyotes are really good at hiding their tracks.

Also, James was just talking (or yelling) in his sleep. He didn’t see ANYTHING.

Despite a no good very bad horrible night’s sleep, the rest of our little camping trip was a blast. Nathan and I drove for two hours to meet up with Maren, Dustin, James, Dustin’s brother and Dustin’s sister-in-law for an overnight camping trip.

Friday night: tin foil dinners and breadsticks wrapped around skewers.

Saturday morning: dutch oven breakfast of bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, eggs and cheese.

Saturday afternoon: shotgun shooting.

I am definitely NOT Annie Oakley, but I managed to shoot a few targets and tried out several different guns. Awesome. Totally worth nearly dying the night before to learn how to shoot.

One comment

  1. And is is why I love that I am friends with THE LAUREN ELKINS. Great story and ooh how all of us have lived through that same event, somewhere in the great outdoors.


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