That first day out I hiked all day and even into the early evening, finally topping out on a high, bare ridge under the big sky. At the far, far edge of the world was the grandmother of all sunsets! At the time, it seemed an ideal place to camp. Besides, I was exhausted and it was getting dark, not to mention I wasn’t sure where I was.
I was too tired to set up my tent and it was a fine clear night with the stars beginning to appear in that big, big sky. So I just rolled out my sleeping bag and lay on my back looking up at all those stars. This was back in the days when the ground was still smooth and soft. I was at peace with the world, my tired body resting lightly on the earth. Absolute silence.
I sat up with a start. What the h--- was that?! I looked all about swiveling my neck like a startled owl. As best I could tell in the star shine, I was all alone on that high, bare ridge.
I lay back down still looking up at the stars, eyes wide open and ears alert to the slightest sound. Peace reigned once again.
This time I jumped up out of bed and stood looking around, trembling with let’s say nervous energy. I even walked a small circle around my camp. Nothing. All was calm and peaceful.
I was beginning to get chilled and there was no other living thing to be seen so I crawled back in my sleeping bag, curled up in, well, in the fetal position, actually, with my head covered and determined to stay awake all night, listening.
The next thing I knew, the stars were gone and the sun was rising on the other side of that big sky.
To this day I have no idea what creature was up there on that ridge with me that long ago night. From the sound it made it had to be at least as big as a man, a young man, anyway.