I remember my first night in a tent more vividly than I should. That night, I learned the hard way that rocks don't make for a comfy bed and that thoughts of tigers will keep you awake at night.
A less ancient memory is a spontaneous little midnight hike to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, California.
"Meteor shower," they said.
"Sure, why not?" we tagged along.
No meteor showers that night but having the whole place to ourselves was a surreal enough experience in itself. For the most part, we chatted, counted shooting stars, and froze our asses off.
It was quiet- the type of eerie quietness you only get in the middle of the woods at night. Starring down into the canyon made me feel like a tiny, tiny speck in the universe. It was peaceful.
Peaceful... at least until a rustling on our journey back alerted our 'leader' enough to trigger the bear spray. It was a false alarm but rest assure that we will never forget what bear spray feels and tastes like.
Exhausted, we dragged ourselves out of bed the next day only for our actual tour to lead us to the exact same spot of last night's deviance. In daylight, it was all so familiar yet strangely different.