Surviving a nighttime visitor and other beginner backpacking adventures on Santa Rosa Island

14 October 2021

An unsettling sound rang out above the crash of waves onto a wild, lonely beach on Santa Rosa Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park, where my partner Emanuel and I had bedded down after an arduous 10-mile trek.

I was jolted awake. Again — the irate sound, like a rusty metal bucket scraping against rock. It seemed closer.

Emanuel heeded my nudge and investigated.

When he poked his headlamp-adorned head back in the tent, he broke the news: “I think we have a problem.

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