Since age thirty, I have driven to Badger Mountain to watch the Perseid Meteorite shower each August. No city lights and velvet dark with big skies. I look up and feel awed by the glowing Milky Way and billions of sparkling stars.
Ten years ago, a farmer put up two grain silos with a gravel driveway and parking lot at the summit. Beats lying on wheat stubble worried about getting stepped on by a cow.
Last night, that's where I took my friend Kathy to see the Northern Lights. We sat in chairs bundled up with sleeping bags over us. Drinking hot tea. Laughing and talking. I was thrilled to see three shooting stars.
A farmer and his wife arrived in a truck. He was slurring badly, drinking beer. They sat in their truck chatting with us. It was hard to understand what he said. This parking lot was not their property, she said. They live five miles away. After twenty minutes, they left.
You're blocking my view.
An hour later, he swerved into the parking lot alone. Parked his truck three feet from my chair. That scared me. Ranting, he raged about large farms, Democrats, local grocery store employees who don't know where their beef is grown, ground beef costs $5.95/pound and farmers don't get paid enough. With his slurred speech, that's what I made out. He's furious about the nearby, brightly lit subdivision that was recently built. A farmer sold his land to developers.
He got out of his truck and planted himself in front of us, swaying. Facing Kathy and me, he wanted our undivided attention. He was much too close.
"Excuse me, sir," I said. "Would you mind stepping to the side? You're blocking my view."
"You ruined everything!" he yelled. "You said I'm blocking your view! How dare you! Get out of here! You're trespassing!" (He was, too.) Enraged, he shook his finger in my face.
"Get your finger out of my face!" I replied. "You are being mean and abusive. We're leaving."
Kathy and I efficiently loaded the car while he watched. I felt shaken as I drove away. I'm never going back there. Will find a new place to watch the Perseids. We didn't see any Northern Lights.
Last night's geothermal storm that caused the Northern Lights was much weaker than expected. Iceland got a great show.
It appears that drunk farmer is angry at people who build houses in his area for the views. This is happening across America. "You're blocking my view" sticks in his craw.
"I grew up here!" he howled. "My family has been here for five generations!"
My thoughts are you were lucky to go out of the situation unharmed. I think the guy coming back drunk without his wife was a bad sign that he had plans that his wife would not approve of. A drunk and angry man would be scary to be around. You were right to leave before the guy got violent. I am an amateur astronomer and I go to remote dark sites to observe with my telescopes and feel uneasy when other people are around. I also looked for the Northern lights but did not see anything in Olympia.
Some people do not embrace, or do well with change. This phenomenon will get much worse over the next 10-15 years as AI makes people ever-more economically superfluous.
If you want to understand this phenomenon in a more nuanced, big-picture way, read Sapiens by Professor Yuval Noah Harrari. Remember the term the Useless Class. Useless in an economic sense.
If you had cellphone signal you should have called the State Police on his miserable DRUNK DRIVING ASS ... With two witnesses he would have been TOAST. Don't take any BS from these MORONS ... We have to use whatever means available to stop this wave of insanity. Glad you are safe though. Sorry the show was a bust. Maybe next time.
I don't understand people and of course them being drunk makes it much worse. People are selfish even when preventing others from being alone.
Back in the 90s my wife and I set up our tent in Teanaway campground. We were just passing through during the week in the off season so we were the only patrons in an area at least a couple of hundred yards across.
In the morning we woke up with a full size RV in the site right next to us. We assume they were thinking they were being sociable, we guessed.
I grew up in very rural AZ and my wife in even more rural MT. We're both used to going 50 miles and knowing we're the only people within 40 miles or so.
That was the only thing I disliked about the outdoors in WA -- you couldn't get away from the people!
One time I hiked up to the Necklace Valley with a work group and we ran into 14 people over a weekend!
There were 2 couples at the top living in a canvas tent, drinking wine from bottles. We wanted to ask them if they helicoptered it all up there.
People only seem to think of themselves. If folks wanted to socialize they would be at a club in town -- not passing through the wilds at the top of a mountain.
/Ok Rant Over -- Some memories stick with you.
You can't argue with alcohol. I'm happy you and Kathy got out of there safely. I feel badly for people who feel helpless in the face of progress, but I stop feeling bad at any kind of assault. There'll be other Northern lights and meteor showers at other great locations. This farmer, however, will never ever be happy.
There ain't no mountains here in Indiana! You sure you ain't making this up Kathleen ? I don't mean the part about the drunk (rude) farmer......( 'Cause we's gots them here) .
Okay, here's my 2 cents. Almost everyone thinks that what they have to say is of the utmost importance.
Things change, it is "progress" whether it helps anyone or not. Funny that he is yelling about Democrats when it is the Republicans leading this charge to build the houses. His family has been here for 5 generations, how many generations were the indigenous people here for before the white colonizers arrived? And how much respect did they get? Change is hard, be informed, and be careful who you vote for.