Both nights that Isaac and I camped, I initially thought we were going to have the whole campground to ourselves. Each night, someone else pulled in around dinner time or a little after. I realized I liked the idea of having the whole campground to ourselves and I felt a little nervous with just one other site occupied.
The first night, it was a couple, a man and a woman, with a dog. The second night, it was two men. Maybe they were a couple as well, I don’t know. But I felt especially nervous when I saw there were two men.
I actually thought of saying hi to them and saying something like, “My husband Mack went fishin’ but he’ll be back soon.”
Well, I briefly considered saying something like my husband went hunting with a really big gun and he’d be back soon with his really big gun – but hunting is not permitted in the National Forest and neither are guns, so I thought that might sound improbable.
It surprised me that I thought of lying about a non-existent husband. But I didn’t want them to know I was alone.
I didn’t say anything about a husband. But I thought maybe they’d see me walking Isaac and think I had a big dog to protect me. Only then they said hello and wanted to say hello to Isaac, who of course wanted to say hello to them. So I’m not sure Isaac looked very protective then. And of course he’s not. But people tend to think all dogs will be protective, so I don’t know what they thought.
Maybe it would have felt safer if there had been many other campsites occupied. Like, then there would have been someone to hear me if I screamed for help. Although people often ignored screams for help, so who knows if anyone would actually help. But I think I would have felt safer.
Before going camping alone, I’d wondered if I would get scared alone at night. I had thought I might. But what I found out was, I was more afraid of people than anything else. I was not afraid of wild animals or the dark or big foot or ghosts or things that go bump in the night. I was just scared of people.
And I didn't have nightmares either night. I woke up a lot, but I usually do that at home, too. And Isaac and I went to bed early both nights, so it's not surprising that I was awake by 3:00 am and had trouble going back to sleep - if I'd been at home, I would have gotten up. I'd already had six hours of sleep which is more than I usually sleep in a row. But there was nothing to do there if I did get up and it was chilly out and it seemed like a better idea to just try to get back to sleep.
Although once I had to get up long enough to pee. Isaac did not get up with me. He was tired and he said he did not have to pee. I was not walking all the way to the toilet in the cold and dark, so I peed behind the tent in the woods.
Anyway. Other than being afraid of other people, I liked being outdoors at night. I liked sitting around the campfire and I liked looking at the moon and hearing the insects and owls and things.