I thought I had lucked out. A state park with plenty of available spaces right on a lake. Oh what a fool I was. One bar on the cell phones means no WIFI. The TV finds no channels. The radio finds no stations. As the sun set a heavy mist formed upon the lake. The clouds are blocking the moon. We are in total darkness. Total isolation.
The morning came as a thick fog. It might have well still been night as far as I could see. I counted seven steps before losing sight of the camper. Found it again by walking backwards. The dog was afraid to poop. Didn’t blame her. Told her she had to go anyway.
There were noises in the water. A couple of small skidding splashes like ducks landing. Then there was a big splash and a gator’s bellow. I decided it would be okay if the dog pooped inside under the circumstances.
A couple hours later the fog lifted like it was being vacuumed up into the sky. There was no wind. The water was as smooth as glass. A gator’s head popped out of the water over by the bat house, then sank away. That was the last we saw of it.
At first I thought it was a bird house, but it turns out it was a bat house. This did not comfort my wife, so no wandering around at dusk for her. Thanks to the dog, I did. Didn’t see or hear any bats, but we heard some bull frogs arguing about religion. I don’t speak frog, but religion is the only thing that would elicit that much passion in an argument.
About midnight, on the dog’s last walk, the night had become humid and lit by a big moon. The bats came. You could hear the wings flap. There was no screeching, but that was almost worse. Then they were gone. I guess all the bugs had been eaten.
The next morning was misty, but not so bad. That splashing and gator groans were back, but I figured that as long as they’re splashing they’re not on the land. Then the dog started yelping. She was covered with fire ants. It took ten minutes to pull them all off her. Another five to get them off me. Youch.
When we got back to the camper I noticed the muddy paw prints on the door. The dog was freaking at the smell. I guess on the way out she was too busy to notice. I took a picture with my phone thinking, “That was one big raccoon.” I looked it up in the Boy Scout manual I got at a yard sale for a quarter. Yes, they were bear prints. Well pulled out as soon as visibility allowed.
Maybe motels are more our speed.