Galactic50: Day Three

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After two nights in our beautiful national forests, I was starting to get in my groove. My first two nights were successful, but I was not very optimistic for the days coming up. I had been hearing about bad weather hanging out for awhile and was happy that I hadn't encountered anything so far, but that luck was about to run out. My destination today was Shawnee National Forest in Illinois and the closer I got to my campsite the more I realized the weather was not going to cooperate.When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to actually have service, so while the weather might not have been very cooperative at least I could catch up on some editing of the previous two nights. The rain wasn't supposed to come till later but the clouds hanging around were low and thick, thus taking away all chances of any photos at sunset or of the Milky Way.Before the weather came in I did have a chance to take a hike and check out my surroundings, hoping for a small chance in a break in the weather where I could possibly shoot the Milky Way. It was at this point my run in with nature would start. Only 20 feet into my hike I came across a very large and very fast black snake. Luckily, he was more scared of me than I was of him, but that is not how my night would continue. I returned to my campsite and sat down to work on some photos and about 15 minutes in I noticed a little marmot walking over to check me out, he got within 5 feet of me before I told him to scram and probably scared the crap out of the little guy as I don't think he expected me to move and I have never seen a rodent move so fast! However, that would not be the end of my run in with nature that night. After making dinner, I headed back out to the trail to catch sunset, but again a bust. So back to my campsite again hoping the clouds would clear and I would get some star shots. I was sitting around doing some coloring in my adult coloring book :) when I heard loud noises coming from the woods. I turned my flashlight on the noise and saw little orange eyes beating back at me, but this was no marmot and this guy was not afraid of me, in fact the more noise I made at him the closer he seemed to come and that would begin the stalking of treacherous raccoon. He never really left my site hanging out in the woods and causing a nuisance most of the night. After my late night hike to hopefully catch the stars, which I didn't, I returned to my campsite and found my friend with a few of his friends hanging around, no there was no food out at this point they were just plain chilling. So with it being pitch black out and my new friends taking over my table I returned to my jeep to call it a night.Thoughts from the Road:I love nature, but I really don't like rodents!Music of the day:Chris Stapleton, Zac Brown