Posted by: tlnemethy | October 30, 2014

Camp Cold Glow

It’s 2:18 AM and I’m currently sitting in my car with the heaters blasting. My lab is in the passenger seat with her face pressed against the blower; the fur around her face jetting back from the hot gusts as she blissfully closes her eyes and lets out yet another sigh. At least her teeth stopped chattering. I am way too hot right now, but I know she isn’t done warming up yet so I suffer through the sauna of my car and take the opportunity to charge my phone.IMG_20141025_103614922_HDR

The night sky is pitch black except for the brilliant flecks of light from the stars and I’m debating going back outside to my fire pit and using up the second bundle of firewood to get a blaze going. Anything would be better than another hour in a half reclined position in a hot box while my dog thaws. She’s making contented suckling noises and her feet are twitching slightly.

I had a feeling that getting a campsite for two nights in late October would be a bit much for us. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to get her to crawl inside my tube tent, or that I’d be able to keep her inside without her chewing an escape route through the nylon walls. In the two hours since I’d let the coals of my fire die down she’d pleasantly surprised me in her willingness to sleep in a tent not much bigger than my 5’3” frame. Although I was a little concerned about her excessive tail wag uprooting the tent stakes from the ground.

We got all settled inside and I fumbled with the side zipper for a few minutes, not being able to move much with 60 pounds of dog laying on my chest and a sleeping bag tangling my feet together. Within minutes, the tent had a slight, yet distinctive smell of wet sock. We were officially camping. Grimm hunkered down pretty quick, slithering her way to my feet under the low roof, and we both fell asleep while the campground died down.

IMG_20141024_230615948At nearly two, I woke to Grimm violently scurrying from my feet to my chest until she had her two front paws on either side of my head and her face resting on mine. Then she started growling.

I immediately thought about all the howls I’d heard while I was tending the campfire, all the crinkling in the underbrush, the fact that Grimm had attempted to eat something that ran by us in the dark. My body tensed up and I thought to myself how shitty it would be if something attacked my tiny ass little tent while I had a sixty pound dog on my chest and was effectively trapped in my sleeping bag. I hugged Grimm and rolled to my side until we both could peer out the tiny strip of mesh at the base of the tent.

There was an eerie glow coming from the campsite next to me. A blue glow that was almost hauntingly creepy. I shushed Grimm as I watched a silhouette of someone awkwardly dodge around in the glow. Of course, it should be mentioned that I was not wearing my glasses either. In such close quarters, Grimm has been known to destroy glasses with one swipe of the paw or wag or the tail. They were tucked safely into my hiking boot (the source of the wet sock smell).

I tucked my sleeping bag flap around her and dragged the comforter up from my feet to keep her warm. The chill was starting to set in for me, and I was wearing a few layers. She snuggled close but like me, kept watch on the glow. My head was sideways as that was the only way to see out the crack in the tent, so not only was my vision blurry, but it was oddly horizontal instead of vertical. The shadowy figure was still dancing in the glow and I began to hear a strange whispering. You know that feeling you get when you know someone is talking but you just can’t understand the words? I had that real bad. I closed my eyes as if going blind would immediately heighten my hearing, trying really hard to understand the whispers. I began to think about aliens. They always appear with a distinctive glow don’t they? Was I about to be abducted? Was this alien’s awkward dance a seduction technique to lure me from my tent?IMG_20141024_212439053

The whispering stopped and the glow went out. I had successfully evaded the abduction.

Closing my eyes again, I tucked Grimm inside my sleeping bag and threw my arm around her, she being my only choice for a little spoon. Her shivering waned, but didn’t subside and after a few minutes I felt so bad about letting her freeze to death that I apologized, opened up the tent zip and packed her into my car to thaw.

And that is where we open this story.

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