Weeks 20 and 21 were spent in the quinzee (-27 for week 21). But week 22 saw us back out hanging in some really nice old White Oaks. I thought everything was finally settling down with the crazy temperature this week, but last night (week 23, also in the oaks) was another near-record low. With a couple of pieces of reflectix, it was pretty comfortable…until about 4:30. I woke up to VERY loud howling. I struggled out of my mummy bag, half asleep, and once I got out, they took up another round, this time sounding even closer.
I've been in the woods long enough that I've heard plenty of this before, but never this close, and never with my (still asleep) 12 year old wrapped up like a tasty soft taco in the tree next to me. I stood there for a while listening, and when I could hear them running across the snow crust on two sides of our camp, I realized there was NO way I was going to get back to sleep anyways, so I woke up my son, we put on a headlamps, and walked the ¼ of a mile back to the house.
I didn't want to dampen my son’s camping spirit, so I just told him that it was -10 and I was getting cold.
I've never even heard of a camp attack by wolves, so I’m sure there was zero danger, but this has been a remarkably hard winter on the animals up here with all of the snow and the extreme cold we've had this season, so I didn't want to risk it. All in all, I’ll just consider it a successful camp out…with an early wake up call.
On a brighter note, I convinced two of my younger daughters to hike out to the camp site during the day, and they want to try hanging now too! I'm kind of glad this didn't end up being their first night out though. The attached picture is the three kids snuggled in two hammocks, taking an afternoon siesta.