I live in Southern Oregon. A beautiful place in the west filled with some of the most beautiful forests one will ever see.
The National Forest that I live against I know like the back of my hand, I know stories from long ago about places, in the middle of nowhere, that have strange names,
and that often draws me to these places to explore and feel nostalgic. These forests also have things about them that are off.
Locals talk about how people disappear all the time in the woods, sometimes over drugs, sometimes over foul play, and other times people just go for a hunt or hike and are never seen again.
Disappear without a trace. I have spent years in the deep wilderness hiking, almost every day. The incident I'm about to tell you changed how I felt about the forest.
My roommate and I left our home on the outskirts of the forest for a hike to a place that is basically a swamp flat, a small area of marshy swamp in a bowl like canyon high up in the mountains.
There's one road in and one road out.
As we climbed the mountain the rain had started to pick up, it had been mostly drizzle that day, but living in the Pacific Northwest you get used to that and it doesn't stop you from adventure.
We finally get to the flats and it's time to explore. We walk the trail into the flats and as we admire the old-growth trees surrounding the marsh, the wind starts to pick up.
There was a nasty storm coming in.
The trees started to rock back and forth and make horrible snapping sounds, and there isn't many safe places in a forest like this to take shelter from falling trees and branches,
so we decided it was time to hike out.
We hiked back to the car and were relieved to get in it and out of the storm. The car was parked in a small turnout on the side of the road.
We sat there for a few moments in the car, taking off our jackets and turning the heat on and such. That's when the truck pulled up.
In the middle of the bad storm, in the complete middle of nowhere, a really old beat up pickup truck drives up and parks in front of our car,
not completely blocking the car but coming damn near close. A burly man steps out of the drivers seat and turns and looks at us.
I have to say, this is the only time in my entire life that I have thought to myself "something here isn't right." The look on this guys face gave me that instinctual feeling of fight or flight.
As we watch him walk around his truck, I tell my roommate "go. Just go. Start the car and leave. Now.
" As he starts the car and begins to pull off, the man was reaching behind the seat of his truck and pulls out a long rifle. That's when my roommate hit the gas and flew out of there.
As we pull away the man pulls the gun out and points it in our direction and looks me right in the eyes. The feeling I got was "you were going to die today.
" I will never ever forget the look on his face.
We got home, told our neighbors about the incident, and proceeded about our day. When we got into the car the next morning to drive to town, the starter failed on the car.
I often think to myself, had it failed up there, or had that bad storm not come in and shooed us away, things could very well have gone south that day.