I suppose we were lucky, when we arrived on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, that there was a campsite available. It was the smallest developed campsite at the Queens River Trail Head, but we didn’t need a lot of room and we took it.

The two larger campsites, closer to the bathroom, were thoroughly occupied by a different kind of camper than us. There’s nothing wrong with camping your own camp, so to write, but it can be interesting when styles that are so different must co-exist.

They were fire builders, ATV riders, hard talkers, drinkers and shooters.

The fire wasn’t so bad. We were upwind for the most part, so I couldn’t even smell the smoke. I didn’t hear any extra coughs from Ambrose, so the fires only bugged me at night when I wanted to look at the stars and the light killed my night vision.

The ATVs were noisy and smelly, but they served a good function. They took the rowdy folks far away and allowed the quiet campsite to be invaded by a visitor.

Hi deer!

Make yourself at home. 

Don’t mind the trucks. 

You can come closer.

Or walk away…

That deer was quite exciting for me, because it’s the first time I’ve gotten a good picture of a deer with antlers. 

I had to walk between the two campsites to get to the bathroom, and sometimes it was a little bit scary. These guys are drinking, yelling across camps at each other and swearing up a storm. Now, I swear. I’m not shy about using words, but I use more words than just swears. I  use the words that I feel are appropriate for the situation. These men spat swears in every sentence, harshly and drunkly. They never made a violent move or gesture towards me, but I still felt afraid from their tones and word choices. 
But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part came the first night when darkness fell. The larger camp began to fire what sounded to me like a damn cannon from the confines of our tent. Ambrose says it was a 9 mm automatic rifle. The boom cracked through the air, echoing through the air. We stayed low and hoped that they were sober enough not to fire in the direction of our tent or our car. But how were we to know? We didn’t know them, or their standards of gun safety. 
We made it through the night, even though it was punctuated by period booming interruptions. The next day Ambrose figured out they were shooting at a target well away from any of the campsites, so we were more prepared for a repeat performance. However, we got lucky. There was no more shooting that weekend. And we spent Monday night all alone at the campsite, so I got to try my camera out on the stars with a tripod. 
Either the camera isn’t suited for taking shots of the stars or I need to learn how to do the settings manually, because the pictures did not turn out. 
That dot – it’s Mars. I think. 
Even though we had some challenges with our neighbors, the weekend was still great. Not even being scared to death at the crack of gunshots could ruin camping for us – as long as we don’t get shot. 

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