It started just like any other night...
Meg and I were parked off a dirt forest road in the mountains, this time outside of Salida, CO.
We had a wide swath of land to ourselves, save for a handful of hospitable grazing cows.
We carried on with the evening just like we do most- Meg made a delicious meal of cooked meat and vegetables, we drank red wine, maybe we read or watched a movie before falling asleep.
But we did. We fell asleep.
At some point in the middle of the night, maybe 2 or 3am I woke with a start. I heard something. A scratching/sliding/dragging noise. It sounded like someone was trying to quietly claw their way into the van through our side door. My first thought was “ididntclosethedoorallthewaywhichknifeshouldigrabmaybeitsjustacuriouscow...”
I got out of bed to investigate; adrenaline, fear, testosterone, and bewilderment all pumping through my veins.
Someone could be trying to break in.
The noise stopped as I approached the door. Pitch black. Couldn’t see a thing.
I pointed a flashlight outside through the window and the reflection hit me square in the eyeballs, momentarily blinding myself. Couldn’t see a thing.
So I listened. Couldn’t hear a thing.
I closed the door all the way and just stood there. Listening.
No sounds. No signs of movement.
I got back into bed.
It took a long time to fall back asleep but we did.
The next morning we looked for clues. And we found them.
Based on these clues we devised a plan, implemented it, and waited.
. Nothing. No sound. No starts to our sleep.
. I woke again in the middle of the night. SNAP!