Read about the first part of our adventure here
We ate well, lounged around just talking for a bit and then proceeded to bed with no intention of sleeping any time soon. Despite our efforts to set up far from the other vehicle at the campsite and keep quiet enough to not disturb them we seemed to have bothered our fellow camper. Despite her efforts to suggest we should quiet down or move by developing a severe case of indirect communication coughs she ultimately fired up her ride and moved on down the road. I felt a tinge of guilt but we all laughed it off by making random coughing fits the second running gag of our expedition. We weren’t playing music or even being particularly loud so I’ll chalk it up to a case of “it’s a risk you run” camping just off a road. I hope she found somewhere more quiet to get some rest.
The food was good, the air was cooling with a gentle breeze and the company was excellent. We rolled our sleeping bags out over a tarp on the ground and gazed towards the center of our galaxy. We had few flashlights, no lantern and only one candle with a windguard for illumination. We nearly brought games but didn’t miss them under the canopy of stars. Though the sun had set hours ago, the western horizon glowed faintly from the city lights in the distance. We enjoyed a magnificent light show of thousands of twinkling stars and galaxies, perhaps a few planets, dozens of artificial satellites, airplanes, and even a cameo by humanity’s only foothold in space, the International Space Station. We also observed some lights traveling through the hills in the distance and the yips and cries of Coyotes from afar before we drifted off to sleep, expecting to be awakened by the rising of the sun.
We woke with a start to a cacophonous proclamation by a pack of coyotes to the south of us and VERY close. With no moon, our diurnal primate eyes couldn’t make any of them out, adding to our excitement. As if our fears were their script, another group just to the north answered the first group’s calls. We knew they weren’t much of a real threat but I grabbed a light and shined it towards the pack. I was hoping to see exactly how close they were but they disappeared into the night as I stood up and they must have found something more interesting elsewhere; they didn’t return.