This post was originally written in September 2012, and at that time I was camping in the national forest near Estes Park, Colorado. I’ve had very few scary experiences while boon-docking on my own in the national forest or on BLM lands, and at the time of posting this, I’ve been living this lifestyle for around 13-years. I frequently get asked about my bad experiences, and this is one story I tell along with the Smoke from a Wildfire, the time I was almost blocked in by some young kids partying, and the time I was almost shot (not intentionally). So four experiences over 13-years isn’t bad, and this could happen to someone who is merely camping for a weekend. Don’t let fear of something like this happening to you, stop you from getting out an experiencing life. Trust your instincts, you can always drive away if you choose.
(September 25, 2012) ~ Last Friday night I was parked in my usual little spot when late in the evening several cars and a dirt bike pulled into the area. It was well after dark, and these guys were quite noisy. They hung around their vehicles for quite some time, and at about 11:00 PM or later, walked past my vehicle with their arms loaded with stuff and headed into the woods. They had woken me twice with their noise making, but other than walking by my vehicle did not bother me. In the end, I just put in earplugs and returned to a restless sleep.
I didn’t want two nights of disturbed sleep, so on Saturday night, I parked in the driveway of a friend’s house.
On Sunday night I decided to park in the national forest again, figuring that the noisy young men were just a bunch of young climbers, full of adrenaline and beer, and were just out for the weekend and would probably not be there on Sunday night. However, I was wrong.
They all pulled up at 11:15 PM and their loud voices woke me from a very deep sleep (I hadn’t heard their cars pull up). There were three vehicles, and I’m pretty sure they were the same group of young men that were there on Friday night, as two of the vehicles looked familiar. Anyhow, I was now awake, and so I watched their flashlights to follow their behavior. At 11:30 PM, three young men passed by my vehicle, only about 3ft away, and talking loudly, and started walking all around the meadow in front of my vehicle. I heard one of them trying to break some branches off a rotting fallen tree, and the noise echoed loudly. I groaned, thinking that now they were going to have a fire. I considered packing up and leaving, but really didn’t feel like it. Then the three flashlights headed into the woods and the craggy rocks, and all went quiet. I was just dozing off again, when at about 12:15 AM they crossed the meadow again, and stomped on the tree again, and then moved on. I had now been woken twice, and couldn’t go back to sleep.
I did eventually drift off when once more, I’m guessing around 1:00 AM, they passed my car again, talking loudly, and vanished up the trail into the woods. I was hoping this would be the last time, and I returned to a light, unsettled sleep. At 2:00 AM, they all came back down the trail, past my vehicle again, talking loudly. I banged on the inside of my vehicle as they passed, to let them know someone was in there trying to sleep, but they kept on walking and talking. FINALLY, all went quiet. Car doors slammed, lights went out, and they apparently went to bed.
I woke in the morning, grouchy and tired. I rarely get grouchy, but this morning I decided to let these guys know that I was rather upset with them. When I was ready to leave, I slammed all five of my car doors VERY HARD, revved up the engine loudly and often, turned on my radio LOUD and wound down the windows. As I was leaving, I revved up my engine loudly right next to the guys sleeping on the ground in their bivy sacks.
It felt good, and I hope I woke them all up from a deep slumber!
Once at the coffee shop, I added more caffeinated coffee to my cup than usual. One of the other guys who lives like me was in there (I’ll call him Dennis), so I told him about my night. Dennis flipped open his notebook and read off three license plates he’d written down. He asked if I’d been for a walk in the woods lately in that area, to which I replied no. He then told me that there were all kinds of anti-semitic stuff out there, that had appeared very recently, and he thinks these guys are the ones who had carried it out there. They seem to be having some sort of ritual in our woods during the night.
Needless to say, I WILL NOT be camping out there again anytime soon. Although these men have not bothered me yet, I do not feel comfortable being around people who have such hate for others running in their blood. Not only that, but total disrespect for the national forest, and for other people camping by them.
If I had been sporting one of those ‘Co-Exist’ stickers on my vehicle, with the Jewish star on it, who knows what they would have done to me. I could have ended up as a ‘missing person’ statistic, and I can think of things way worse than death that could be done to me.
I’ve had a lot of wonderful evenings in this section of national forest, but living as I do, does have it’s moments that aren’t so great.
Until next time…
Trying to Co-Exist
Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature
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