I like to joke that I live at the end of the universe, but that’s not quite true. Even though we live in an old farmhouse out in the country, we still have a place to get away from it all…camp.
Only folks from this area would call a place a camp when it is really a cottage or cabin. Our camp is 11 miles north of us. A camp is almost always north of wherever you live. Around here, south means cities and going north means deeper woods. When we tell someone we are going to our cottage, we say “I’m goin’ upta camp.” The fact that camp is only 11 miles away is a testament to the fact that we already live pretty darned far north!
Our camp is small. It has only three rooms and a screen porch. It’s perfect for the two of us and the dogs. Here’s a pic…
Here you see the screen porch and the photo at the top of the post is the view overlooking the water from that very porch.
Anyhow, the camp is pretty deep in the woods on a lovely little lake. If a lake isn’t huge, we say it’s a pond. So it’s on a lovely pond. When I say we’re deep in the woods, I mean it. You take a highway to a small country road, to a dirt road, to a tiny dirt road, to a dirt road only wide enough for one car to pass through. If you meet an oncoming car, you have to back up.
I’ve had a lot of really fun animal sightings at there. I’ve seen deer, moose, beavers, osprey and bald eagles. It’s a beautiful place. But at night it’s pitch black. Our camp is so rustic that it doesn’t have electricity or plumbing. So you can imagine just how dark it gets.
Late one night I was sitting on the porch and enjoying the sound of the frogs and jumping fish. Then I heard another noise. It was a noise I had never heard before. I had to investigate. I took a flashlight and headed toward the sound.
Once I got behind the camp I realized that the sound was coming from the vicinity of the outhouse. I told you it was rustic! For those of you not familiar with such things, an outhouse is basically a tiny building that contains a toilet consisting of a hole in a bench. Ours was outfitted with an oak toilet seat…hey we went in style!
So off I headed for the outhouse, flashlight blazing. The sound grew louder and louder. I arrived and could see nothing. The sound had stopped. I figured I must have scared whatever it was away. Just in case, I shut off the flashlight and stood in the dark perfectly still. After a couple of minutes, the sound started again. I turned the flashlight on figuring I would see something for sure. The sound had stopped and there was nothing there. By this time I was sure I was going mad.
Then it hit me. Maybe whatever was making the noise was inside the outhouse. Geez, maybe it was a skunk. You should have seen me opening the door all ready to run if it was a skunk. When I did open the door, there was nothing there. The outhouse was empty and silent. Then, with a great amount of trepidation, I lifted the lid to the toilet seat. Two sets of eyes stared up at me. Porcupines!!! With dangerous quills. BIG quills.
I didn’t stick around long enough to ask them what they were doing there. I didn’t stick around long enough to get stuck with those quills. I high-tailed it for the camp! And what was really on my mind was exactly that…my tail. Only a half hour before all of that noise began I had used that outhouse. The thought of what might have happened to my backside if they had arrived just a tiny bit sooner makes me shudder!