We had just a few sprinkles on the way in and then it didn't rain at all the rest of the time. When we woke up on Sunday morning and drove out on Monday afternoon we had sunshine. Today it is raining. I am thankful for rain, but I am more thankful it waited until we came home!
Our sons, Klint and Kris came out for an afternoon hunt and to help us set up camp. That was so nice of them both! After their evening hunt they went back home. That evening my son Kris told of seeing bear tracks not far down the trail. I tucked that bit of information in the back of my mind.
I didn't have to set up the tent or anything, just stay out of the way. Doug normally does the cooking when we go tent camping, so I should love tent camping, shouldn't I?
Well, if it weren't for two things I probably would be out camping all the time. One, my body hurts! Two, I could not find one toilet out there! (Not listed here by most compelling.)
The subject stinks, but it is something done when out camping/hunting in Alaska. Alaska does not have nice campgrounds with bathrooms here and there to use way out in the toolies. We bike up into the mountains where the wild animals roam, the weeds are tall as my shoulders, we hear noises I've never heard at home and unless you live on Anchorage's Hillside - tracks not normally found in your backyard.
After reading that God instructed the Israelite's specifically to keep their camps clean, we keep ours clean. God walked through the Israelite's camp protecting them and delivering enemies into their hands and God required that it should be kept clean unless He should turn away from them when there is anything indecent. Dueteronomy 23:12-14.
My kids have gone on some "low impact" camping trips where the way that they got rid of their natural emissions is truely ugly! They had to smear them into the rocks with their shoes! HORRORS! I have also heard that some campers carry their stinkers back out with them in bags. Imagine how horrible that would have been if God asked Israel to do that? Millions of bags of stinkers. I guess there is a reason for having rules like these but I hope it never comes to that in Alaska. Alaskan's, please take care of our countryside. Take out your trash. Look back at your site and see if it looks natural, no litter! Please stop shooting cans and bottles and leaving the mess. Clean it up!
At first light the next morning we heard moose. A bull was chasing a cow and her calf right next to our camp! I don't know which one was bellerin' but one of them was making lots of noise! That was exciting!
Since I am slow climbing out of our tent, I missed everything. By the time I was out, Doug was gone too ---checking out whether or not the bull was legal to shoot.
So, there I am, all alone and thinking about those bear tracks but mostly the one that left them there. And now, I felt like I was being watched. I listened, looked around, then decided I am going to make a fire. Bears don't like fire, I hoped.
We had kept a clean camp. We stored our food away from our tent. I wondered if my movements might look like a nice morning play-thing to a bored bear that might be watching me from the golden shrubs. Sort of like a cat with a mouse.
I kept scrounging around for dry little twigs. Peeling off some of the birch bark paper. Pulling off the dead, dry spruce twigs. cracking them to small size and putting them in a pile in the fire pit.
For forty five minutes I worked on keeping the little fire going. Then I saw Doug at the edge of camp, [whew] he pointed and made our bull moose sign without talking. I nodded, afterall I already knew that a bull had run through earlier! I went back to fire keeping. Doug didn't move but waved and pointed again, and signed bull again ---but with more feeling. So, I stepped back from the fire to get a better view out of our camp site, I looked and there was the bull... watching me!
Doug says he had been watching me in camp since I had zipped out of the tent! (By zipped I mean zipper---) Doug realized he was not of legal size so even if he was almost frozen he had stayed out there enjoying watching the bull, watching me. It ended up that this bull was too little to be big and too big to be little.
No wonder I felt like I was being watched ----I was!