Camping under the stars
by Warren M Rice,Jr
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Going camping was in the planning stage for weeks. We did not have a tent to put up, so we took seven of eight old blankets, food, a flashlight, and a BB gun. We took the BB gun just in case we were to meet up with a Bear or an unidentified UFO. None of us thought that would actually happen, but we were not taking any chances. We thought we needed my special edition red Ryder BB Gun that I got last year for Christmas to scare them away.
The four of us started walking on the road in front of my house. The rugged dirt road wound around the house of the cemetery's caretaker home. We proceeded past the creek behind the cemetery, and over the salt creek bridge through the thicken woods of squirrels & chipmunks nesting in the trees to a clear plateau.
After walking two hours carrying our backpacks, we arrived at our campsite, and without undue delay we began to set up camp.
Looking for a good place to set up camp was not hard since we already knew where we would encamp for the night.
About five miles away from my house was a place where my dad and I went many times to pick blackberries.
The old abandoned coal mine had a flat clearing, and a small hill of dirt in front of it, surrounded by many blackberry bushes. We could observe our small town and the caretaker house with the binoculars that we had with us. We took clothesline, stretched it between two trees and hung up the blankets with clothespins to make our tent. The other end of the blankets we stretched out and hammered pointed sticks in to hold them down to the ground. We then took a dozen or so branches to place around the tent so if we encounter any wild animals near our tent, we would be alerted. Our A-frame shelter looks really cool. After all our hard work, we decided to make a campfire and cook some hot dogs, and marshmallows.
We enjoyed ourselves fearlessly as we sat around the campfire telling ghost stories, having the best time of our lives. A large highly translucent spot shone in the clear still-blue sky, and you could see the stars shining brightly for miles.
We were all sitting on the dirt hill, talking to each other enjoying ourselves. About midnight My head began to wobble, and my eyes were bobbing repeatedly. I was slowly drifting into the darkness. So I went inside the tent to go to sleep.
The others stayed up watching the shadows moving. Waiting and listening for some creature to move slowly and quietly, creeping through the darkness. I can really sleep well all snuggled up under a blanket in a tent when out in the wilderness. I was sleeping soundly, when sometime during the night the others came inside the tent to go to sleep. I know this because I woke up and notice them coming in, and then I fell back to sleep.
A short time later, the boys woke me, and said that they heard something outside the tent. We are going home. We are leaving. They said, so we all took down the tent, packed everything that we had with us, and headed down the dark dirt road.
The caretaker's son was one of the boys that was with us. Therefore, we went to his house and slept the rest of the night, in the old shack beside his house in the cemetery.
About a week later, my uncle came in from Ohio to visit my family and, to go hunting. He took me with him, and the place where we went, was the same place where I camped a week earlier. Was I ever surprised when he showed me fresh bobcat tracks, right where we had our tent. Maybe the other boys were right when they said, they perceived something was outside the tent. I guess I will never really grasp what happened, but I am sure glad that we did not stay there all night.
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