There are interesting characters everywhere—even in the wilderness. Which is not always comforting when it’s just you and two other women sleeping in a van. As we roasted marshmallows by the fire late into the night, a shaggy-haired blond dude with a beer belly appeared out of nowhere and offered us drinks. He introduced himself as Troy and said he lives in a trailer nearby without electricity and cuts wood for a living. He offered to give us a lift to the trailhead we were going to hike in the a.m. It was a tempting offer that we had to decline, considering he’d mentioned that it was the last day he could legally drive before his license was revoked. (As if I’d willingly hop into a strange man’s vehicle so he could drive me to some isolated location where no one would ever find us). Then he asked if we wanted to sleep at his place instead of in the van that night. Negative, Ghostrider!
We got rid of him by feigning exhaustion, which is exactly how we felt the next morning after Amanda woke us up with a blood-curdling scream. She was having nightmares involving an axe-murderer breaking into our van. Good thing I never watched “Murder in the Outback” or else I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at all.