My eyes fly open and I lay still, listening.
Crunch. Crunch. The distinct sound of footsteps approach.
A million thoughts race through my head…the gate’s locked. No one is camping near me. I am completely alone. The bathroom is in the other direction. The couple in their camper won’t hear me scream…
The steps draw closer and Rocky growls.
A light shines into my tent.
“Hello,” I call. “What do you need?”
Inside my intestines clench.
The light goes out.
Rocky barks frantically.
The footsteps continue–Hard soled, landing heavily in the dry dry earth.
I grope in the darkness for my light and turn it on.
The foot steps are alongside my tent.
I grip my tazer in one hand and knife in the other. For the first time ever, I wish I had a gun.
My heart pounds so hard that it drowns out the footsteps
I don’t breathe. I don’t move.
The footsteps move away and down into the wash that runs alongside my campsite.
I set the tazer on my lap and pick up my phone. Should I dial 911? I look at the screen…No Service.
Half hour passes.
I unzip my tent and shine my light around my site.
I lay down.
The footsteps move out of the wash and back toward my tent.
I stop breathing.
The steps move away.
I grip the knife handle. I’m on the ground. I’ll go for the femoral artery. No bones to protect it.
I lay down, still clutching the knife.
2:50 in the morning. I hear the snorting of a wild pig.
3:15–I smell a skunk.
4:50 — Digging and snuffling near one of the trash cans
6:00 — daylight
Lesson…I will never again choose the isolated campsite.
FYI: NOT kidding.