They left last night, all in one van with Vermont license plates, Mountain Dew cans in hand, wearing bright orange knit hats, camouflage clothes, and big green boots like a band of clowns without the ruffles, polka dots, and water-squirting-flowers on their lapels. Without the trademark clown face paint. They seemed jolly, heading off on a dark adventure.

After they departed, on one of my up-the-hill/down-the-hill meditative walks to the lighted ladies' room, I admit to peering in their cabin window as well as taking stock of what they left in plain sight on the front porch. (Before you judge me, it is in the rules to report suspicious activity to 1-800-DEP-WARN, which one year we had to do as law abiding campers.)

This is what I saw: a 100 lb. sack of potatoes, a large trash can full of leftover 2x4 wood blocks, a portable double burner propane wok stand (I know, this surprised me as well), an extra pair of knee high green rubber boots, 24 spring water bottles still encased in plastic wrap, Mountain Dew cans falling out of an open box, the largest ketchup bottle ever made (half-empty), unwashed cooking utensils, a box that said it contained a french fry maker, and an industrial size cooler that when opened contained a chunk of ice approximately 2'x2'x3' with packages of American cheese and bacon wedged along the sides.

I expected them to return before dawn but it is now mid-morning and there's no sign of life in cabin three, no van, no clowns. I forgot to mention the meat grinder clamped to the picnic table, the saws and hatchets, and other implements of destruction.


(written on 11/27, while camping with very little light)

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