Getting robbed is the pits. My truck was broken into while I was camping and all my gear was stolen. Be carefully of your belongings in your truck bed, wherever you are.
Sitting in a meadow at dawn. Huddling around a fire roasting marsh mellows. Gazing into galaxies far far away, pondering life’s deepest questions. For me, camping is a tranquil escape from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. Living in a city has it advantages, but it also means dealing with traffic, inflated prices, long lines and paying for parking, which is why I retreat to the mountains as much as possible. My gear’s security is the last thing on my mind when I’m scaling a gargantuan mountain, but last weekend I came back from a long hike only to find my tailgate hanging wide open and my belongings missing.
I haven’t had anything stolen in the city, which has a ridiculously high crime rate, but when I go to an area where the deer population vastly outnumbers the people, my truck is broken into. How ironic. Don’t ya think? After this past week of work, I was dieing to get away. So I laced up my hiking boots, packed my gear, and took off. I was headed for a weekend away from work, crowds, and most importantly, my wife—two nights alone, just me and my yellow lab, Jasper.
The second we get out of the city I’m hit with feelings of relief. I lower the windows, turn of the ac, and let out a sigh as Jasper and I breathe in that cool mountain air. As the road begins to twist and turn, bringing us up the mountainside, I can tell we are close. “This is more like it,” I thought. Just a guy and his dog, getting away for the weekend; that’s all we are—nice, slightly creepy, but nice.
I pull off the paved road and pull into a small secluded parking lot. Jasper can tell from the gravel crunching under my tires that we have arrived. I pop open the door and he barges out; trying to take in all the scents like a kid scoping out the presents under the tree on Christmas morning. We have a few hours of sun light left so I decided to hold off on pitching the tent and setting up camp. I needed some exercise and a hike to the summit is just what the doctor ordered.
The weather is perfect. The temperature is just right and the cool air fends off pesky bugs. I march up the trail at a nice quick pace, which Jasper has no problem following. From the openness of the trail, I can tell that it is a well-traveled path. Luckily, I was the only car in the parking lot and hadn’t seen anyone else in miles. I soon reach the summit and it is gorgeous. The green seems to go for miles in every direction. I plot down on a tree stump to take it all in—the sounds of a babbling brook, birds chirping, the setting sun. I’m on top of the world. I look toward the base of the mountain. Oh nice, there is the parking lot. Wait a minute. Is someone taking breaking into my truck? I shoot up and race down the trail. Jasper breaks out in a gallop next to me. We finally make it down to the lot, sweaty and exhausted, to find my tailgate hanging open. I have a pick up truck with a truck bed cover over it, but the actually tailgate door doesn’t have a lock. I rip off my cover and all of my gear is gone. You have got to be kidding me. I look around in all directions and the only thing I find is a sign. It read, “Caution. Secure Valuables in Car.” It wasn’t the hundreds of dollars of camping equipment that hurt the most. It was that my place of solitude and tranquility had been tainted—and that I had to go home for a weekend with my wife.