April 30, 2015
What scares me most about being out camping on my own are men! I’ve slept alone inside a rotten tree in grizzly bear, wolf and bison country with a mouse exploring my body, and was not nearly as scared as I am around certain men or certain types of men.
And what scares me even more, are irresponsible men (and women) with guns (I know not all shooters are irresponsible). A person with a gun doesn’t have to make a fist to hurt another person or any living creature for that matter, he doesn’t even have to be close by. All he has to do is have a drink (or not), pick up a gun, and shoot.
On April 30 I was parked in the San-Raphael Swell. It is an area where OHV’s, climbers, bikers, hikers, explorers and campers rest for the night, or a week or two, and regular tourists drive a route shown them on a brochure they got from the visitor center, and drive in and out as quickly as they can in the daylight hours. Yes, its remote, most tourists rush their visit and return to their hotels, air-conditioning and hot showers before supper time. However, there are still other people dotted around out here, it is BLM lands and its considered a multi-use playground.
I’ve spent a lot of time out here, and have never heard a gunshot before. OHV’s, dirt bikes and jeeps aplenty, but never a gunshot. I feel I’m more likely to hear that in the National Forests of Colorado.
Last night was different though. I had found a really nice spot, not much of a view, but it had greenery on the ground rather than just dirt, an open space and wasn’t too sandy or dusty. A bit later an RV passed by and pulled into a spot quite a distance away and all was well, that is until the first shot was fired.
I heard a sharp crack then a perzzzzzzzing sound. It was the sound of a bullet flying right by my car. I was stunned! It took a second to realize what I’d just heard. Then it dawned on me, and I got ready to dive for cover and maybe start honking my car horn. However, a second bullet didn’t come. Instead, there was a pause, then a loud roaring of male laughter from over by the RV. A few seconds later more shots rang out, but they were heading away from me, rather than at me, and I figured that one of the two men (I heard two male voices) reminded the shooter that someone was camping in that direction.
When I heard the laughter I didn’t know what to think. If I’d been anywhere except where I was, that bullet could have hit me. I could be injured or even dead. It WAS NOT funny.
The target practice went on for about 5-more shots, then again for a few shots, then stopped. I considered moving, but all the other spots I’d passed were dusty and near OHV’s (think running generators, noisy engines as the whole troop of them return from their days explorations with dust being kicked up as they whiz by), or totally exposed on the flats, and I would have to drive quite a long way on two-track dirt roads to find a nice spot. Also, there were scattered storms and rain clouds passing through, I didn’t really want to drive into this remote, rugged and wild landscape too far in case the weather turned bad.
So I stayed. The sunset, and sure enough, right as it was getting dark, two more shots were fired. This seems to be the evening salute for many men with guns because I’ve noticed this seems to be a tradition. Just as it goes dark and one would think it would be a terrible time to take pot-shots at things, another shot or round gets fired off.
Anyhow, all went quiet after that I obviously survived the night or you wouldn’t be reading this now. I’d say that the major part of the population are good people when it comes down to it, even most bad-asses and rednecks will do the right thing when called for, and I can’t change my life because of one or two idiots. That would be letting someone else control my life, and we must NEVER do that.
Besides, is there anywhere in this country that is safe from guns? Oh, yea, maybe inside a prison. Oh, the irony.
So until next time, heading into remoteness…
Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature