American Wilderness Camping
By: Allison Greere
It was raining pretty hard and we were scrambling to set up camp after our long hike up the mountain side. We saw an amazing array of birds and wildlife. It was the first time I saw a speckled jay, and it was thrilling. Such a piercing sound, it reminded me of the iguanas at the Fiji Islands.
Jane was with me, and she was cool as a cucumber, and gorgeous with the wet hair slicked on her face. I stood transfixed as she flung the tent from her pack, and sent a spray of water arcing through the air behind her as her hair whizzed around.
I dug my foot into the soft mud, and reached my arms forward to help her pop the lightweight tent open. The ground gave was easily as I plunged the pegs into the ground and anchored the rainproof outdoor tent. This was the fourth year we used this tent, and as dirty as it was, it withstood our lugging it around and smiled at me with it’s gaping mouth.
I zipped the door shut to stop the rain from pouring inside. We looked at each other over the top of the tents dome and smiled at each other, pretty excited to get out of our wet clothes and lounge around listening to the pitter patter of the rain.
We always relished the soft dance that happened as the water shed from the trees over time once the rain storm passed. Just as we flung our large packs inside, and and took one last look around surveying the land we spotted a set of eyes deep in the thicket.
Unbeknownst to us, this would be the night that changed our lives forever for the better. We needed to weather the storms first. Our pulse quickened, and we waved at the camouflaged agent standing guard to protect us.
I wondered aloud to Jane that this was the first time we actually spotted our protectors in the last three months of our fake american wilderness camping trips. Our trap was set, and we waited patiently now for the soft Russian knock that we knew would come at dawn.