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Our End of Summer Campout
It was the end of a perfect weekend of camping, out west, with my buddy, Collin. Collin and I were next door neighbors, we grew up and did everything together. We were more like brothers than neighbors. Even as we were growing up, our families would get together and do things like vacations, birthday parties, holiday get togethers and especially end of the summer campouts.
We were getting ready to go to on our end of summer campout. Usually, Collin, his Dad, my dad, and myself would go on the trip. This year they decided that instead of the four of us going, they were going to stay home and just Collin and I were going so we could hang out before school started again.
It was the last weekend of summer before we both had to head back to our rival colleges for the year. Collin went to Michigan State and I went to Michigan. Now that Collin and I are older, we have been taking our own camping trips together during our breaks and summer vacations to catch up and remember all the good times we had as kids.
We went canoe racing in the nearby river. We caught our limit of ten seven foot long fish. I have no clue how to cook. It was a good thing that Collin was getting his undergrad in the culinary arts. He whipped us up an amazing fish dinner, and we ate till we were full to the gills. We built roaring nightly campfires and discussed solving all of the world’s complex problems.
Today was the end of our last weekend campout for the summer. Our goal was to have the tents taken down, food in our bellies, and have everything packed into the truck and ready to drive out of the woods before dark. It always seems to get dark quicker in the woods. Everything was going as planned. As we got the truck packed you could see that we were loosing sunlight over the horizon. There was a slight chill to the late summer night breeze and you could feel that Fall would be settling soon. We could still see the long winding trail through the dense woods out toward the direction of the public road.
We piled into the truck, put it into drive and we left our campsite sad and depressed knowing that it would be another year until we would campout again. We started heading down the wooded trail when all of a sudden we spotted an owl majestically flying through the air. He was swooping down looking for his prey. We looked in the direction he was descending and noticed a bunch of mice scampering around from bush to bush looking for their meal. This was really getting interesting to see the mice unaware of the owl overhead descending upon them. I was driving the truck and decided to put it into park while we waited to see how this was going to play out.
The owl and the mice were unaware of us sitting there with our motor idling. The owl would swoop down right in front of our windshield as if we were invisible. Each time he would swoop down, getting closer and closer to the mice, they would all run in different directions and hide back under the bushes. Sometimes, barely making it in time before the owl flew back up to get a better view. The next time the owl flew down; he rustled the bushes searching for the mice and then flew back up and tried again. It was a real “cat and mouse” game going on here. The mice were a little more daring now because they were right out in the open trail and a great distance from their cover, the bushes. Collin and I were wondering when the owl was going to make his move! We hadn’t seen him in a while. We peered out our windows and looked up searching the oncoming night sky for the owl, when all of a sudden we felt a huge shocking jolt! Something rammed into the back end of my brand new pick up truck! After a few choice words, Collin and I both turned to look out the back of the cab window. It was pitch black back there. We hadn’t realized how much darker it had gotten in the woods while we were watching the owl and mice show. We were about ready to open the door and run back there to check it out when we heard a blood curdling roar from the rear of the truck. We froze and immediately locked the doors and quickly rolled up the windows. We both yelled at once, “Let’s get out of here!” I put the truck into “Drive” and stomped on it. The truck wasn’t moving forward!
All of a sudden the truck is rocking on the suspension, but we weren’t doing it. Someone or something was holding on to my truck. I hit the brake lights and we could barely make out what seemed like a big, large brown, hairy being in the faint red glow of the taillights. Was it a bear? No, this beast was too massive! It continued to growl and wail as I tried to escape its grasp. I tried to peel out of there and whatever it was had a hold on the truck. We still weren’t going anywhere. The truck’s back end is now three feet off the ground. With a huge jolt and sound of metal straining we were slammed back down to the ground. What was happening? Collin and I are, to say the least, totally freaked out and scared to death! No one is left in the woods to hear our screams! Of course, in the middle of the woods there is no signal for our cell phones either!
The back end of the truck kept getting slammed down and then picked right back up again. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the truck must have been getting extremely heavy, that when it was put down for longer than a coupe of seconds, and before the creature could get a better grip, I hit the gas and the tires immediately started spinning like I was on ice, but amazingly we started moving slowly. I kept my foot to the gas and it felt as if I was dragging a huge loaded trailer behind my truck. I couldn’t see anything. It was pitch dark! After what seemed like a mile of dragging this beast through the woods, it broke free. We could barely see back there but it looked like it had gotten up and starting chasing us and then it ended up jumping up and down as if it were having a temper tantrum when it finally realized we were getting away.
“Should we stop?” I asked Collin.
“Hell, No!” He replied.
We finally made it out of the woods and onto the highway heading home.
It was a quiet ride home. Collin and I didn’t say a word. After about an hour and half of driving we made it to the driveway of my parent’s house. We sat there, discussing and replaying in our heads what had just happened. What was that big, hairy creature? It was way to big too be a bear. We were trying to figure out who we should tell? Of course, no one would believe us. We both wondered how much damage was done to my truck and wondered if the insurance agent would believe us so we could get it repaired. We both got out of the truck and went back to check out the damage to the back end.
We couldn’t believe our eyes! The truck was perfectly fine. Not a single ding or scratch. We were puzzled beyond belief! What happened that night out there in the woods? One thing for sure, we are never camping out there ever again.