(Updated and republished November 2019)
One night in July 2012, I was parked in the national forest and was the only person parked there at the time, when I heard a vehicle coming up the dirt road with an engine sound I didn’t recognize. It also sounded like the driver was driving a little faster than necessary. I have become quite adept at guessing what kind of a person is coming up the road, based on the speed, and wildness of their driving, purely from the sound of it, and I haven’t been wrong yet. Sometimes there are other clues, like loud music, whoops, and hollers, more than one car, etc.
When I caught a glimpse of the white truck, and the way it pulled in (very fast and erratically), and the way it parked (running over plants and tires skidding on the dirt and creating a plume of dust to rise), I was instantly on my guard. I closed all my doors, and locked them, and reached for my pepper spray. I was parked in a spot that offered privacy but was not the easiest to get out of. I usually try to park with my nose out and do not allow myself to get in a position where I can be blocked in easily, but on this occasion, I’d wanted the privacy, and had ignored these safety precautions. Not only did I have to reverse out, around a boulder, but I also had only one way out, and it was narrow.
I turned off the movie I was watching, and watched the movements in the vehicle intently. It was still daylight so I could see the men clearly. Two men got out of the cab, one tall, skinny, maybe in his 20’s, wearing khakis. He drained a can of something, and tossed it into the grass, then threw a cigarette out on the ground. Two bad signs (especially during a fire ban). The second man was probably in his 50s, he was dressed in more casual smart attire, and looked more like an office worker than a hunter. They both walked away from the vehicle, leaving it unlocked, with the windows down, and walked directly toward ME!
I was ready, with the protective cover removed from my pepper spray, and my finger on the trigger. How I would actually use it when I was inside the vehicle, I don’t know, but I was ready anyway!
Then they both walked right past my vehicle, within 2ft of it, without even looking my way, and walked off into the woods.
I watched, I waited. I wondered… What on earth are they doing? They knew where they were going, their stride followed a very faint trail into a lesser-used part of the woods. They didn’t have a rifle with them, and I didn’t notice handguns, so I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t hear gunshots, and they didn’t carry anything else with them at all. No pack, no water, nothing.
About ten, or maybe fifteen minutes passed. Maybe they have some marijuana growing back there and are picking some, was a thought I had. I couldn’t for the life of me imagine what they would be doing in the woods, without any gear at all.
That’s when they came out of the woods, still with nothing in their hands. Instead of walking out by one of the many other trails, they walked directly past me again, got into their truck and left.
Hmmmmmm, my mind was still wondering about it all. Two men, one young, one old, who did not look like father and son, walk into the woods, and then fifteen minutes later, walk out again. Stoic faces, purposeful strides.
I wonder what they were doing? I wonder if they were doing… well…you know… it!
What do YOU think?
Until next time,
Still wondering and scratching my head,
A Free-Spirited Woman (The blog I owned prior to A Nomad for Nature)
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