By now you should know that I am not much of a camper but I will venture into the wilderness every once in awhile. This time it was back when I was in 9th-10th grade and we went out as a Scout Troop to Lake Alice in Wyoming.
Now I was not much of a Scout either. I would rarely attend meetings but I thought this week sounded pretty fun so I decided to go. Most of the guys in my church ward were going and it did sound like a lot of fun.
The trip to Lake Alice seemed to take forever and we were all rowdy. I felt bad for Tavis's dad who volunteered to drive and come with. We must have drove him nuts. He was especially cranky when it came to all the road work. We would be driving maybe 2 miles an hour as they paved a new road. The heat was already unbearable but add fresh asphalt to the mix and we were getting all cranky.
The first night didn't help my attitude about camping. It rained that night and day and unfortunately Damond and I put up our tent right in the middle of a depression so our tent and stuff was fully flooded. It took almost the whole night to get my pillow dry as I sat by the campfire. But as time went on I began to enjoy my time at Lake Alice.
One of the things we did was we made a homemade zip line. It worked really well and went down a rocky embankment down about thirty feet. We used a branch/log to hold on to while we zipped down until Dusty broke it. It wasn't his fault really, the rope burned through the wood and made it weak and he crashed down onto the rocks making a horrible wet thumping noise. His back was really scraped up.
But the thing I remember the most about this trip was the bear. Or the moose. Maybe it was just a deer. Or maybe it was Sasquatch or the Wendigo. We don't know what the heck that thing was.
We were up at the lake doing some fishing and it became quite dark. The leaders were back at camp and all of us scouts were up at the lake. It got so dark that we could barely see the shoreline as we canoed in. Suddenly up by the shore we saw this large black shadow moving toward the lake. And it stopped right where we come up onto shore! We couldn't tell what it was, the only thing we knew was that it was HUGE. We paddled closer and we shined our flashlights at it and then we caught its eyes. These yellow eyes that stared back at us. And each yellow eye was far apart from the other so this creature must have been huge. Tavis began to paddle closer saying "It's just a deer, it's just a deer!" and then he would suddenly change his mind and paddle right back out yelling, "That's a bear! That's gotta be a bear!" He repeated this a couple of more times. "Okay, I think it is a baby moose." And he would paddle in closer. And sure enough we would get closer and he would paddle back quickly, "That's a freaking bear!" Damond started to throw his fish guts at it which didn't make sense to me. He wanted to scare the creature away and if it was a bear, why would you throw fish at it, essentially feeding it?
Finally it left and we paddled to the shore and quickly got our stuff together. Tyler took the fish and said he would carry them for us and lead us down the trial. He would throw the fish at the bear (if we came across one) and we would then run. The rest of us scouts armed ourselves with paddles. And we ran almost the whole way home. I don't think I have ever gone 2 miles more quickly than I did that night. And we sang songs, anything to to be loud and get our minds off of being eaten by some horrible creature of the night. We got back to camp safely and the first thing our leaders asked us was why we carried the paddles back to camp.
By the time we came home I think everyone was tired of everyone else. Spending a week together was more than some could handle and our leaders were really happy to come home. I think they got tired of our endless chatter and pranks and doing stupid stuff. One of our leaders was getting frustrated with our trailer of canoes, he kept trying to line them up and was about to lose it. He couldn't tell from his rear view mirror if he was backing up correctly so he decided to roll down his window and look out himself. Tyler knew he was going to do this so he rolled down his window (he was sitting right behind him) and stuck his head out just as our leader looked back. Tyler scared the crap out of him and our leader was so mad. I don't think we dared talk or laugh for at least an hour after.