Far too late, I come across a campground.

It’s only 20 minutes until sunset, so I begin immediately.

I actually take my time, because I’m going to do everything into the darkness tonight, and push my fear a little more. A bit of infrastructure exists - an established spot for a tent, a picnic table, and even a dumpster - very useful for unloading accumulated food trash.

Cooking on the picnic table, I don’t even need the headlamp.

The moonlight is obscured by hills all around, and the darkness feels like it’s encroaching all around me.

There’s a metal fire-pit, and I’m reminded that I’ve never started a fire. This is a good time to start, with the safety of the metal frame to keep it under control. I use the the headlamp to search for wood - into the darkness I stride forward, acting as if I’m unphased. I ignore the rising concern.

I’ve seen camp fires started several times, so I duplicate the effort.

The kindle ignites. Burns out.

I’m focused on retrying my efforts and choosing not to listen to the sounds around me.

It is truly amazing what your mind can interpret from the sound of rubbing nylon.
Stop. I want to go to sleep.

The fire blazes well, and I’m happy to have achieved a new level of comfort in the wild, while realizing that no animal will approach a fire.

It takes me forever to extinguish all the embers before I can retire to the tent.

Tonight it gets down to 26. I should be fine.

35 miles to the next resupply, wherein the low is above freezing.