Nighttime Neighbors

As I’ve mentioned, Acadia National Park (a.k.a. Bar Harbor or Mount Desert Island) is one of my favorite summertime destinations.  One time…

I was exhausted but sleep would not come.  Perhaps I was getting too old for a tent.  I kept hearing creatures moving about in the darkness. More than their sporadic brushing against my tent, it was the audible prowling paws that unnerved me.  Given the sounds from the forest floor, it sounded like a creature parade.  I was afraid to turn on the light. 

I had been worried it might be a noisy night.

At dusk, in the adjacent campsite, three chatty British women set up camp with their pop-up trailer.  They were agog that I camped alone.  A friendly enough trio but clearly not interested in the serenity of the woods.  To my surprise, they had turned in before my campfire even started to burn out.  That worked out nicely.

All was well with the world, but I still could not sleep.  I lie and listened to the prowling creatures. After what seemed an eternity, I realized these creatures were not trying to enter my tent.  They didn’t rest. What were they doing?  I had brushed my teeth quite a distance from my tent so it wasn’t toothpaste that was attracting them.   I tried to concentrate on my breathing.  And I wished they would stop brushing against my tent!

Suddenly, a loud commotion jolted me from my reverie.  The British women were outside their pop-up trailer, still chatting fast and loud.  Were they drunk?  I could see a bright light coming from their location.  I poked my head outside the tent to take a peek. 

Their torches illuminated at least twenty raccoons crawling about their picnic table!  The first woman to focus on the animals seemed to be having spasms, heaving her shoulders and gasping for air.  At first, I thought she was laughing but then she let out a scream.  The others soon caught up and shrieked expletives. I retreated into my tent.  From the bits and pieces of revelation and accusation, I gleaned they had left their unlocked cooler outside, inviting a raccoon food fest.

Yes, there are reasons I camp alone.

TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb is available at Amazon and BarnesandNoble and iBooks and Audible.

Buy it. Read it. Let me know what you think. –TMLL

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