After driving for about 30 minutes, there was still no sign of the campgrounds. We were deep in the backwoods, alone with the jagged stones of the landscape and the crumbled claims of the past. Just as fear was about to enter our minds, the mountain road opened into a valley. The road turned to dirt while wild overgrowth stretched out on each side of the car. The vegetation was dense, making it difficult to see anything except the road before us. Occasionally an open space would reveal a few white buildings in the distance. As we reached the other side on the valley, the road split. The path to the left was blocked by an old iron gate with a piece of wood with the words “KEEP OUT” spray-painted upon it. “If we don’t see the campground in the next couple miles, let’s turn around”, my wife said with a knot in her throat. I agreed and we continued down the road to the right.
The sun was now below the horizon, bleeding its last colors into the low clouds. The road had quickly turned into a narrow path overgrown with weeds as it weaved back into the forest. “I don’t think it’s this way”, I calmly said as I became afraid, “I think we should go back”. The headlights pierced into the dead forest as we struggled to turn around. The road was far too narrow for the Jeep and the camper so we had to slide off the road into the dark and soggy ditch. Using adrenalin from fear and the need to get back on the road, I pushed with everything I had, ignoring the sounds of the darkness. After several attempts and 45 minutes of frustration we were free, heading back the way we came. part 4