Saturday, March 17, 2012

The 21 Hour Experiment: Part 2

Adrenaline jolted me from my semi-conscious state. Kona sat by the tent door, inhaling so intensely, air rushed through her nostrils in what sounded like a rumbling growl, not an exhale. She trembled. Adrenaline didn't let me consider the cold. Surely, she quaked in fear at whatever prowled outside our nylon fortress.

And so the night continued. I stayed somewhere between dream-state and battle mode, wondering what shot Kona to attention this time, then trying to cover her trembling body when she finally settled again.

We stayed hunkered down until enough light crept into our basin to scare away the boogiemen. When I crawled out of our tent, spinningly tired, I saw the ice. It covered our tent and hardened the sand floor. A friend's thermometer confirmed it dropped into the 20's overnight. There was only one thing to do while we waited for the sun to reach us, we walked. Quickly.
With the long night behind us, I laughed at how a hypervigilent dog does not make for a reassuring campmate. Ignorance is bliss while you sleep in Bear Creek Camp.
I also felt terrible about not considering how cold Kona might be. The weather forecast called for temperatures only in the low forties, but I hadn't considered that our camp fell in a low basin that sucked in cold like an ice queen. Thankfully, so long as we stayed in motion that morning, Kona stopped shivering. I paused briefly to watch the moon's reflection below us.
Despite the long night and long day that proceeded it, Kona still could not settle once we were back at camp. We was a happy dog, so long as she could explore.
My attempt to eat breakfast was humorous with Kona yanking and whining, so we called it a day. Instead of heading home at sunset, we started down the trail mid morning, leaving the group behind us. After the stress of trying to manage Kona in a new setting and around new people, it was a relief to be out on our own, doing what we know how to do. I waved goodbye as we took off briskly down the path.
Whatever stress Kona felt from our undertaking melted instantly under the power of lizards. She hunted and sniffed and pounced like a regular Kona Dog. The settling solitude passed too quickly. At noon, we were back at the trailhead, our 21 hour adventure complete.
As I drove the winding road toward home, hips aching and eyelids heavy, I daydreamed of our next camping trip. Open space and night skies have a way of getting to you. In the meantime, we have some work to do. . .


Barb said...

Gosh - I leave you for a little break, and you go on an overnight camp with Kona! Looks like a beautiful area but I guess not quite peaceful enough for Kona. Hope you both got some shuteye back home.

Sara said...

I think I'm with Kona on this one! Sleeping in the woods is tough, when there are all those scary noises :)

When I travel with Oreo, the first night is always rough, by night two he settles in a bit. But, maybe it is sheer exhaustion from the stress?

It sounds like the whole experience ended on a high note with some lizard hunting. The fact that Kona could resume her normal activities, after a rough night, is a good sign.

Kathy said...

Looks like a cool trip but if my doggie was on alert while I was camping I am a big weenie so I would have been on high alert myself which would have lead to a bad cycle of alertedness, LOL, doubt we would get any sleep, hahahaha-you guys look like you have the most fun!

Dawn said...'s hard to sleep when your tent mate is growling at a monster just outside the door. Suddenly that tent doesn't seem nearly strong enough to withstand the terrible dragon you just KNOW is out there. I only camp with her in our backyard and we've run into the house in the middle of the night more than once! I think last summer we didn't make it through the whole night once! :)