Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Geiger Grade Revisited


It is August 11th, night of the Perseids meteor shower. G. and I have made plans to revisit the Geiger Grade lookout for the event. Mariah wants to investigate the weird creature story, and to tell the truth, I am a little curious myself. Will it still be hanging around there after all these years? As we're getting ready for our little excursion, Levi and 5 of his buddies show up and spread out on the deck. G. tells them the story of the creature we saw so many years ago. After a lot of boasting, posturing and shouldering each other, the guys decide that they want to search for the creature too (one of them even made the claim that he would catch it and eat it!). Ah...to be 18 again.

We head out around 12:30 a.m. It takes us about 45 minutes to reach the lookout. There are several vehicles there, other astronomy enthusiasts, scanning the night sky. Our group, 9 in all, head out across the clearing to the far end and up to the stone seat. As luck has it, we have the lookout seat to ourselves. Everyone settles in, a couple on the bench, others perched on the surrounding rock. When the chatter dies down, G. points out the spot where he first spotted the creature. Nando, the kid with the appetite for creature, moves over to sit next to his friends on the bench. We sit quietly, hoping to catch a sign or noise out of the ordinary. Of course that lasted about 5 minutes. Why we thought it even possible to try getting a bunch of teenagers to sit quietly. Someone, Levi maybe, starts relating a ghost story. Soon, everyone is sharing all the spooky things they have encountered, with the others chiming in how bravely they would handle similar situations should they arise; all the while moving ever closer together, so that soon all 6 boys are sitting on the stone bench. Every so often, someone would call out a meteor passing. Before we knew it, time has past, it is about 2:00 a.m. and it appears that our group is the only one left at the lookout.

I notice about that time that G. has disappeared. I figure something is up, so I wait a few minutes before asking in a loud voice, "Where's G.?" He pops up from behind the group and lets out a loud growl. Loud screaming from the boys ensue. Once the nervous giggles subside and bravado is restored, everyone is back to business. They ask again about the creature we saw. I demonstrate as best I can how the creature was moving along the rock face. Alex comes and stands by me. I think to protect me. Hmm.

One of the kids suggest that we scare the creature into action by letting off a bomb. It just so happens, the guys have brought some 4th of July leftovers along. Sigh...kids. So Levi, hungry Nando, and Alex head on back to the vehicles. We track their progress across the clearing by the small flashlight they have. Suddenly the light stops. We hear excited whispers, then a loud, "Throw something!" Someone must of picked up and thrown a small rock because we hear it hit somewhere in the distance, and an answering muffle. Suddenly the light is bouncing crazily back in our direction, with a whole lot of yelling and screaming. They breach the lookout point out of breath and all talking at once. "There's something down there!" They yoller. "It's lying on the ground!" "It's a big lump of something moving!"

By now, all the boys are freaked (Incidentally, Mariah has been watching this entire episode with mild disinterest). We decide to call it a night. G. leads the way, and Mariah and I bring up the rear (The big brave boys are huddled together in the middle). As we pass the spot where the "big lump" is lying, we hear a voice out of the darkness, "You shouldn't be throwing rocks, it could have hit me." I swear the guys jumped about a foot in the air. Apparently we weren't the only ones left up at the lookout. This guy had brought a sleeping bag with the intention of staying all night for the peak viewing of the meteor shower at 4:00 a.m.

Everyone had a big laugh at the 3 boys expense. We loaded everyone up into the vehicles and headed home. Oh, and we never saw the creature. Not even a sign of it. Small wonder.

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