As well it was late at night. The snow & wind blew with a fright. I was in my little 25 footer; an Arctic Fox trailer trying to keep warm. My dog was with me keeping me company & my bed warm. The wind shook the trailer; even with it hooked to my ¾ ton truck for towing. We were parked in a rest area in the Rocky Mountains. Couldn’t go forward, nor back, as the snow was too intense & the roads were covered with at least 2 feet of fresh snow. Plenty of food & propane we had, at least for a week or two, if necessary. We would have to tough it out till the snowplows arrived. This storm was predicted to continue for several days. We will live day by day. After all there was a rest building with bathrooms & a snack machine. But we may not have been the only two braving that spot on top of that mountain that late night.
The winds did blow and make sounds like screams most shrill. The dog’s ears were up, there was something else out there in the night, he knew. I was just watching TV; I had satellite & generator power. The noises he heard were scary, like the howls of creatures long dead. Even he showed trepidation, but he was there to protect me & for that I loved him even more than ever.
Suffice it to say, I was NOT going out in the dark if I could help it. I could open the door for him to go out and do his business, coming back barking for me to open the door to let him in. Even he did not want to venture out that first night, so we stayed behind a locked door with the windows shut tight. The heater ran off & on and we felt relatively secure.
The camper then shook. But this was no gust of wind. This was a planned shake. It then shook again & again, with the sound of grunting from the outside. It was as if someone or something was trying to move us sideways. The camper held firm, but she shook a great deal. This continued for about 15 minutes as we huddled together in fright. Then came that old “fight or flight” response & I did the only thing I knew how. I cranked up Jimi Hendrix’s song Machine Gun on the outside weatherproof speakers. Blasting whatever was out there with sound!
I kept it cranking for a full five minutes as the shaking stopped almost immediately anyway. Daring to look out a window, I saw “something” run away into the dark, so on I turned my “scare” lights as well. They seemed to totally do the trick, as whatever it was ran even faster, never to return, that night.
Of course there were no tracks the next morning as the heavy snow took care of that. But on the front side of my fiberglass camper were scratch marks; pretty darn deep too. Like something was digging into the fiberglass to gain entry, to get at us, for what reason I know not. Later when I told the state police and showed them the marks, they nixed it as some kind of bear, though what kind of bear is even awake in the middle of winter, I thought they all hibernated…?
Is this fiction? Well, let me just say I will never just stop at a roadside rest in the dead of winter, especially on top of a mountain in the far north of this country in a snow storm. Maybe just a nice Holiday Inn or Best Western next time, with a room as high as I can get from ground level…
© ed ~ 7/15/11