On this particular night in the summer of 2009, I was sound asleep in the national forest near Estes Park, CO. In fact, I was sleeping so deeply, I didn’t even hear the four vehicles pull into the small area I was parked in. It was another sound that woke me, a crunching sound, or sort of. I came out of the depths of a lovely dream, thinking that the sound sounded like someone dropping something crunchy on the ground repeatedly, and then it dawned on me that it was someone breaking up a bag of ice cubes before putting them into a cooler, and it was close, very close.
I crawled onto my knees, and peered through the cracks around my front windshield sun deflector, and was startled to see that there were four vehicles, and about twelve kids milling around, and not only were they breaking ice about 2ft from my vehicle, but they were also building a fire about 6ft away from the front of my SUV (I had an SUV back then), and with all this, they had my exit blocked!
I had no desire to party with these guys all night, nor risk having my vehicle catch on fire, so I crawled out of the back of my vehicle into the front seat (it was tricky), put on a hat and glasses to disguise that I was female, and removed the sun shield. Then, I turned my headlights to on, and flicked them to full beam, and started up the engine. Vroom! and Holy Cow! My main beams came on, and the kids were blinded by the light. They couldn’t see me, or anything for that matter (the element of surprise), and I revved up my engine.
“Whoa there,” they yelled while shielding their eyes with their beer cans, “Don’t run us over man.” I revved again and then started to move forward, and to the left a bit. They dragged their coolers away from the front of my SUV, and as I couldn’t go forward any further, I had no choice but to four-wheel drive out of there, down the bank to my left, and through the bushes. (I had a Jimmy 4×4 in those days). At the bottom of the access road, I stopped and breathed. It was almost midnight, I’d had a couple of beers myself while watching the sunset, and now I had to drive somewhere else for the night, (I don’t drink even one beer anymore when parking in the national forest, unless I’m really sure the spot is okay, just in case).
I found somewhere else to go, and I didn’t get stopped by the cops, and luckily the rest of the evening went well. However, I didn’t return to that spot again that summer, as I felt it was too easy to get blocked in there, (after being a volunteer firefighter for a few years, my training had me always pointing my vehicle ready for a quick escape). The other location was a bit of a pain to get into, but I found an area I could park that was well away from the partying that happened about three nights a week and had the best quick escape route (though far from ideal). My vehicle became known to them, and they left me alone, and I stayed away from them. I don’t think they ever got a glimpse of who was in that vehicle, as I always stayed hidden from sight.
Until next time…
A Free-Spirited Woman (the blog I owned prior to A Nomad for Nature).
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