Thank you to Blaize for allowing me to guest blog for her today. We met Blaize while camp hosting in Sequoia National Forest this summer. We (Jeremy & I and our 2 dogs Dakota & Crosby) traveled from Ohio to California and now are staying in Taos New Mexico. We live in a converted school bus and are enjoying our traveling adventures! I do not currently have a blog but I do write and the following is something from our stay in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff AZ. We camped there almost 2 weeks and most days we had a huge area all to ourselves…but not this day.
I woke early. The first up actually. Don’t gasp! It happens, regularly even since being on the road. I think I am still operating on Ohio time, or perhaps I’m more in tune out here. Getting up closer to sunrise, going to bed early…not too long after dark. That, however, is beside the point. As I said I woke early. Usually I have my coffee and sit on our front porch, aka driver seat of the bus, and enjoy my three-sided view of the forest, scanning for wildlife in the growing morning light. Not this morning. This morning I have woken to the multitudes of squealing children. “Boy Scouts, why’d it have to be Boy Scouts?” I mutter in the spirit of Indiana Jones. I roll over. It appears we have been invaded by a family troop excursion. Dozens of tents and pick-up trucks now dot my view. One in particular has set up their tent not 50 ft from the front of our bus. Seriously? There are acres and acres of open space here. He has set up closer to our bus than to his own group. Camping etiquette folks: Give a camper their space!
The group arrived yesterday while we were doing “town” stuff. I almost wish we had been here when they arrived. Surely the barking of my dogs would’ve encouraged a respectful distance. Maybe Crosby will pee on their tent which has so obviously been placed within his territory. Actually that prospect is pretty likely. The thought makes me smile and consider letting him out and maybe not watching him too close for a minute. A wave of guilt passes over me and then quickly recedes as a pack of wildings run squealing through our camp. Boy Scouts always conjure up images of Lord of the Flies for me. It’s unsettling. In the woods they are downright frightening. I’d rather camp next to a pack of wild coyotes than in the midst of a group of Boy Scouts.
Suddenly an angry low of a cow cuts through my thoughts and the melee of the boys. If you don’t think a cow can sound angry you’ve not spent time around wild forest cows. Out west cows roam everywhere, especially on National Forest land. Around any given corner you can encounter a cow standing in the middle of the road. Many of which have large horns…and attitude. This one sounded very angry. Not the gentle moo of a cow contentedly chomping grass, but an almost roar. Think bear growl crossed with a moo. This cow was seriously pissed.
Rounds of squealing Boy Scout ruckus followed the bellow, and then more angry moos. I can visualize the wild pack of boys harassing the cow. I can hear the cow getting angrier and angrier. Oh this is going to end badly. More squealing, more angry moos. Suddenly a whistle blows long and hard. Still squealing and angry moos continue. Another whistle blow and the squealing abates. Another angry moo or two. Evidently an adult has finally stepped up to control the situation. The whistle serving as a sort of code to call in the wildings. A dark side of me is disappointed. The karma of a cow trampling through their camp seems almost appropriate. There are a few moments of silence and then the ruckus begins again, without angry moos. The cow must have moved on, probably as perturbed by her unexpected visitors as I am.
I pour my coffee and remind myself that the forest belongs to us all. Wildings, cows and buslife hippies alike.
Later that afternoon I breathe a sigh of relief…they are packing up. Just a one night trip. We have our peaceful forest back, the cows are pleased.
The author took the photos in this post.