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So there I was, on a whim finding myself trudging uphill with a 50lbs+ pack on. Starting from the distant valley far down below, snowshoeing up past Mirror Lake in the midground, and finally making the push through thigh-deep snow up to this ridge, overlooking it all. I arrived an hour before sunset. Cloudy skies and lightly falling snow allowed me to not worry about shooting sunset that night, so I shifted focus to setting camp before the dark fell.
As always when camping at this spot, I opted to not camp directly upon the ridge, as the wind is everlasting up there. I set camp just below the ridge in a stand of trees... digging into the snow and packing a nice base for the tent. I set the tent, boiled some snow to refill my water supply, and cooked up some Chili Mac for dinner. By this point the hike, camp building, and full belly had me pretty tuckered out. I crawled in to my little solo tent and read by candle light until I fell asleep.
DONT FALL ASLEEP WITHOUT BLOWING OUT A CANDLE. I normally have no issue with blowing out my little REI candle lantern, but had a lapse in judgement and allowed myself to fall asleep with it still burning. I must have knocked it over in my slumber, as I was awoken to the smell of burning tent. I put out the small smoulder fairly quickly, but ended up with a baseball sized hole in my tent... on one of the walls near the floor. I was able to just cover it with snow to seal the hole. By this time, it was only 9pm... a lot of sleeping still to do.
Back to sleep I went, waking to my alarm the next morning. MAN, I felt well rested. I crawled out of my tent in the faint light of pre-dawn to discover one of the most odd things I had ever woken up to (and I've woken up in some pretty crazy situations before.) There were Coyote tracks all over my camp. They had come in the middle of the night, probably smelling me and my food, and had... uh... marked their territory. Yeah, ok fine, I'll say it... they pissed all over my tent! More than once. I would have been upset about it if I didn't find the idea of Coyotes peeing on me in my sleep oddly hilarious. There were little yellows craters at the foot of my tent where they had peed on the tent, then the warm animal-water had dripped down and melted the snow. Brilliant.
It was easily one of the funniest moments I had ever spent in the backcountry. Then I went and shot this image while imagining those little tyrannical coyotes having a laugh at me.