I tell this story and chills still run up and down my spine. I was scared to death.
The July afternoon was gorgeous as I pulled a trailer (towed with I guess you could say a "yuppie" Jeep Grand Cherokee) into a remote area of the Hamilton Branch Creek near Lake Almanor ca. My wife and I had just married. The year was 1995.
We set up camp along the creek and the dogs enjoyed retrieving sticks and frolicing about. We noticed a few "unsavory" folks going by the dirt road. They made a gesture towards my wife. Didn't think much of it. We collected wild flowers and had a wonderful dinner.
Nightfall---about 11:00 am. Truck pulls up next to trailer. Two men get out. I am on high alert, doors locked curtains drawn. I could not see them, but they were a few feet away.
"What do you want", I ask. "Just gotta take a leak man" was the response. I said "you have the whole forest to take a whizz, why here"? Laughter from the boyz.
I thought they wanted to steal the mountain bikes. I said " take the bikes, leave us alone". Belly laughter. " Go check the other side of the trailer" one man said to the other. Told my wife to get down and watch the back part of trailer. It appeared that they were circling it looking for an opportunity.
Then came pounding on the door. "let us in man-gotta take a leak". I said "you need to move on" in my best, deep paternal voice. I was shaking.
Silence for what seamed like an eternity----I thought they were leaving. "I am gonna do that b***h" was the next comment I heard. I gave one last warning---get the f*** out of here. More laughter.
It was then that I jacked a shell into a Remington 11-87. Very lovely noise of clanking metal parts. And, as if on cue, finally my Brittany started barking ( he thought we were going hunting).
Jacked another round in trying to make as much noise as possible. Then I heard one of them say "let's get out of here man, dude has a shotgun". After a brief argument they left spinning gravel.
I will never know their exact intent, but I believe a gun may have saved our lives.
Take care all--- I share this story with regret, but also as an eye opener to the importance of being able to protect oneself.