I know I seem to have stories like this all the time. I can't figure out why though.
Some of you know that I also do something called Geocaching. If you don't know what that is, Click Here.
About a month ago I hid 8 geocaches. I spent two weekends and about $80 in fuel to hide them. I also had to walk about 20 miles over the two weekends. 15 of that was on one day. 6 of the 8 were rejected because of a rule that NC State Parks have requiring a permit to hide a geocache in their parks. They make it so hard to get a permit that it is almost impossible to get one. Anyway, I had to move the caches off their property.
I got a late start today and I was racing with the clock to get them all moved. At 7 pm I headed for the last one. I had to drive about 15 miles to it. I got there about 7:20. The gate was closed. The geocache was hid on the edge of the park near the back. So I did what anybody would have done. I looked for a dirt road that would get me close to the geocache and walk through the woods towards the cache. I found a nice dirt road that seemed to head in the direction of the geocache. The dirt road quickly turned into not much more than a trail. But I was this close, I couldn't turn back now. I drove until I came to a tree across the trail. I looked on my GPS and I was .03 miles away from my the cache marker I put on my gps when I hid the geocache. So I started towards it. There was some very think woods and I found that it was better to just walk around it instead of through it. I came out near the road inside the park. I checked my GPS again and I realized I had mistaken the marker for where I parked when I hid the geocache for the geocache itself. I still had about .6 miles to go. It wasn't a big setback. I think I have plenty of sunlight let. So I just step up my speed a little and keep going. I jump a fence, and I'm walking down a paved road inside the park. The road ends and the rest of the way is a very open wooded area. Since it's a state park and people are in this area all day, my biggest fear is how I'll explain why I'm there after hours if I'm spotted by a ranger. I'm looking on the GPS and I'm making very good time. I'm walking at full speed and I'm thinking how glad I am that I'm going to get all of these done in one day. I was sure that it was going to take two days. I am now .2 miles from the geocache. Less than five more minutes and I'll have it. That's when I hear a very loud sound. I instantly freeze. I look around trying to find where the sound came from. I can't tell if it came from behind me or in front of me. The sound was so sudden that I couldn't figure out what it was. I talk myself into thinking it must have been a branch scraping a tree or something like that. And since I was almost at the geocache, I kept heading towards it. About 45 seconds later I hear it again and this time there was no doubt that it was some animal, some big animal. I freeze again, this time I could tell it was coming from straight in front of me. The sound was like the one of those little horns that a hunter uses. Rattler, you know what I'm talking about.
I know that the only two animals it could have been was either a deer or bear. I have listened to a number of sounds from each of them and to tell the truth it seems to be a mixture of both. If the bear grunts were faster I think it would be a perfect match. But this is the closest I could find to it. It's a deer rage grunt. The sound I heard didn't have the clicks that you hear and it was much deeper and seemed more threatening. It also seemed to be faster than the sound here.
I am not sure what it was, because it didn't exactly sound like that. Just somewhat like the end. I also listen to bear sounds and some of those sound similar too. What ever it was it made it very clear that it didn't want me there. I decided that I wanted the same thing it wanted, for me to be far away from there. I first started walking backwards, then after I backed up and nothing came running out, I turned around and started walking the other way a little faster as I walked in. After I turned around I never heard the sound again.
What made this really scary, I was almost a mile away from my van and there was no help for at least a mile.