Friday, March 29, 2019

A Scary Night Near Mount Hood

I recently found the following account:

The scariest story I have is about a night deep in the Oregon woods. I’ll preface this by giving my background, not as a brag or anything, just to show that my outdoor and survival bonafides are there. I’m 37, I’ve literally spent over 5 total years alone in the woods. Camping and hiking. I’ve went months without ever even talking to another human being. I’ve taken every class or training you can imagine in identifying animals, especially threatening ones that can kill me. I have walked most of the Appalachian Trail barefoot. I have spent weeks in varying wilderness areas across the US and Canada. I know what a mountain lion sounds like, whether it’s mating, scared, communicating...whatever. I know what foxes, bobcats, owls and varying birds, moose, elk, deer, varying weasels, bison, bugs, sheep, bear, and everything in between sounds like. When you have a hobby like I do and spend every free second alone in the woods, you have to know sounds. It’s absolutely imperative to know if something is close by that wants to eat you. Again, I only say all this because it’s inevitable every time I tell one of my stories, at least one person is going to say “nah dude, it’s just a fox, they scream like bloody murder”...yeah, I know!

I’ve had 3 or 4 sounds that scared me that don’t match any animal living in North America. There was only one that made me leave camp early and go back to civilization. This time, I was actually doing a buddy camp with my oldest friend. He is the same age, and has more experience in the woods than I do. We met up in Oregon for a two week camp in the vicinity of Mt. Hood National Park. We were well off the beaten path, no people or civilization anywhere near us. One night late, at our camp setup, he and I were sitting by a fire, just bullshitting and reminiscing. It’s also important to note we were sober. I do occasionally drink, and I do occasionally smoke cannabis, but never on these trips. Your sobriety and level head can be the difference between life and death out there. As we talked, from maybe 300 yards or so away, down in a ravine, we heard a howl/growl/scream that persisted for several minutes. It literally vibrated our heads, that’s how powerful it was. It was guttural, and booming. The only way I’ve ever been able to describe it, is imagine a huge horror movie with a limitless budget. Imagine some huge, powerful demon. Now, imagine in that movie, that demon is somehow defeated and sent back to hell. Imagine the demon’s scream of agony and anger as it’s dragged back to where it came from. It was fucking terrible. Two grown men, with decades of experience, both of us carrying firearms for protection, firearms that if need be, could take down a 1000 pound bear, in hysteric tears, clinging to each other frantically deciding what to do.

We made it until the first signs of day, and booked our asses back to our checkpoint and got the hell out of, not just the area, but Oregon completely. - 5mh



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