This is part two, a continuation of a guest post by Bea Mills, a friend of Fathom Frontiers. -Alan
The 2013 Ohio Bigfoot Conference lectures had ended, everyone was pumped up and talking about the bonfire that night. A blood red sun and brilliant sky were waning into the oncoming dusk. My friend had to leave immediately and I just stood there by our cars, wondering, ‘do I really want to go home already?’. I’d just met a few really great folks, shared some
awesome stories and the very thought of hanging by a big bonfire with like-minded individuals sounded amazing. Let’s do it, I thought to myself, let’s go camping and make good on my word. I hopped in my car and drove off towards the Bigfoot Ridge primitive campground. I prayed there would be other people camping nearby. I realized I was actually ill provisioned for solo camping, no wood to be exact. Never mind the hatchet I’d wished I’d packed too. I picked a site near the parking lot entrance, far enough from the random campers, close enough to not exhaust myself setting up. By this time, I was strictly motivated by food remembering that I’d forgotten to eat since breakfast. But, I still needed encouragement to do this. I promised myself if I could get this tent up and a fire started before the true dusk, I would stay. I was definitely prepared for cold sleeping. I rationalized that I was ok with this.
I put together the mother of tents ‘Big Bertha’ in about 15min (it’s a 10×14, just in case you wondered) and was more than pleased. I worked on that crazy fire for the majority of the time, kindling? No problem, there were twigs and leaves everywhere. The FUEL, on the other hand, that had to be found!! Thank goodness I didn’t have to look too far. Somehow on either side of my tent there were 4 largish branches, 2 on either side. I was stoked, till I really started looking at them. They were in perfect crosses. One branch wedged in the fork of another branch… Both sides were the same. I probably looked insane trying to break them apart, but I did and I said out loud ‘thanks buddy’, half joking. Eventually I managed to get a nice, hot fire going and poured my jambalaya & juice into the kettle. Then I turned on my favorite Pandora station, kicked back and began feeling so much better about this whole experience.
As its getting dark, I headed back to the car to get out my two headlamps and a gallon of water (for a jug lamp, yes, it works!!) oh!!! I was excited! I had just replaced the headlamps with all new ‘brand name’ batteries before I left, they both turned on, bright and happy to be used, tromped back up the hill to relax, groove to some tunes, star gaze, hope to catch the northern lights and EAT!! Life was GOOD!
Sprawled out on the picnic bench I’m texting a few friends, enjoying the commotion of a caravan of screaming kids honking their horns with some poor fool standing in the bed of a pickup waving his hands while they’re all screaming ‘We got him! We got him!’ (Sasquatch, of course! Haha!!) Coming back to the peaceful bliss of good tunes and stargazing, I’m comfortable knowing I’ve got hours until I needed to charge my phone again, it still had 50% battery left.
Then the music stops. I thought I was getting a phone call and had left my ringer off for the lectures. No silly, that abrupt silence was my phone actively dying, circle, circling more and then black screen. I picked it up and just stared at it, wondering if the solar flare earlier had something to do with this. I clicked the on/off button… Oh no- it’s really dead. So I’m still staring at my phone, its eerily quiet now and then it gets darker. Darker? Yep, one of my headlamps is now only dimly lit. Weird, I thought. I just replaced those batteries, all 3 of them!! It did decide to blink at me, almost in jest, right before going black too.
To be continued…