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Camping Weekend – Ends Quickly

Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Margaret and I wanted to go out and get the “woodsy feeling” and go camping over the weekend.  That’s not me in the picture, but it gives a good example as to what we were doing in the woods. Nothing.  Little did we know that our little camping trip would end with one of the most frightening endings there is.  It wasn’t a bear, it wasn’t a pack of wolves and it wasn’t a forest fire.  It was the Park Ranger.

Friday morning rolled around and I got through the Morning Show and did my lunch hour here at the office, made a camping plan and hit the road.  John James Audubon State Park was our spot, so we settled down, pitched a tent and started hitting the trails.  We knew that it gets quite dark in the woods at night, so we left to get some lights and a deck of cards.

On our return, the gate had become closed to the entrance.  The exit was still open and since our tent and backpacks and such were still at our campsite, we had to go back in.  Big mistake.  The Park Ranger quickly grappled us up and thought we were just causing trouble.  He explained that trespassing is very illegal and that we would have to spend some time behind the bars.

I explained that we had a campsite all set up and we were just out looking for some trees to sleep in between.  He called up Local P.D. and had me lead him to the campsite.  We ventured out the trail to our (I have to say incredible) incredible campsite.  He was impressed and didn’t think that anyone knew about this spot but him.  All I said was that we were hiking a while and came across it.

The tent came down and went back in its bag.  All I can think about is the fact that if I have to go to jail tonight it is not going to go over well with anyone I know.  The Ranger’s words were speeding through my head like a broken record.  “You are going to jail” played on repeat in my brain for 20 minutes.

Okay, everything is down and in its bag.  We put all of it in the trunk of the Ranger’s car and he took us back to my car.  He explained that he doesn’t have any tolerance for people trespassing on closed property and I agreed.  I thought we were in the clear at this point.  Park Ranger then said, “I want to conduct a field sobriety test to make sure you are okay to drive.”  I had to follow the finger and passed with flying colors.  I passed my first and last sobriety test, and we hit the road.  Got outta Dodge.

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