The Bone Trailer
(Originally published on my tumblr in January, 2018.)
For anyone who has followed me for any length of time, you’ll know I frequently go to a place I refer to as “the cabin.” The cabin is the most recently purchased family property in the stretch of the Colorado Rocky Mountains where I grew up and where my family has lived for a century. (Well, I say recent, but the family purchased it about 23 years ago, around the time I was born.) It is a beautiful little A-frame nestled halfway up a mountain, and it backs up to a national forest. The whole extended family goes up there frequently, but myself, my dad, and my sister go up there more than anyone else, almost every weekend if we can get away with it.
The cabin is not the only thing on the mountain.
Past the frog outhouse, past the mouse trailer, past the occasionally naked mountain man who makes knives, is The Bone Trailer. You go down a short little driveway and come to this nice clearing surrounded by pines. Off to the right, set above the main level of the clearing on an earth-platform, is an old blue trailer. It has a lean-to built behind it, a railing built around the earth-platform it is on, and a few steps up to it. On the main level of the clearing is a sunken firepit with a few metal chairs and a small woodshed. Under the lean-to and behind the trailer is an old chest freezer that is full of things like lanterns and blankets and the like.
Sounds rather idyllic, right?
I have visited this place dozens of times over my life. I have never once seen signs of life, or signs that the place is being used in any manner by anything other than forest creatures. Except for one thing. The bones.
That railing? Yeah, it frequently has bones hanging from it, bleaching in the sun. If you look closely at the right side of the photo you can see a bit of spine and pelvis dangling from the rail.
Thing is, every time I’ve been there there’s been different bones, or the bones have moved to a different place on the railing. But still no sign of any humans being around. Also, the bones are always bleached white already, never fresh or semi-decayed.
That’s not all, however. You know those places you walk into and you are suddenly overcome with the sensation that you need to leave right fucking now or something is going to violently murder you? Yeah, that’s how this place feels. That’s how it ALWAYS feels.
But wait! That’s still not all. Oh no.
So, about a year ago I take a few friends up to the cabin for my birthday weekend, and I take them over to the trailer while we’re out exploring for the day. But when we get there something else is different: the windows have been newspapered over. From the inside.
I find this very weird, so I brought it up to my father later. My father practically lives at the cabin. Knows all the neighbors, friends with the mountain man, etc. If anyone knows what’s up, it will be him.
“Hey, Dad. We were over at the bone trailer a couple weeks ago and someone had newspapered over the windows. I thought that place was abandoned.”
“Oh, no, it isn’t abandoned.”
“It’s not abandoned.”
“What do you mean it isn’t abandoned?!”
This did not compute to me at all. We’ve been exploring that place since I was born! I have never once seen a human-being there, nor any sign that one has been there. Half the time you can’t even GET to the trailer because there’s so many trees down on the only back road to it.
“Nope, not abandoned,” he says in the most nonchalant voice.
He did not elaborate any further, leaving me to digest this information with quite a few facts missing.
The creepy trailer decorated with moving bones, the place that feels like murder, the place I have been exploring ALONE since I was about six or seven...is not actually abandoned.
That’s. That’s great.
I COULD HAVE DIED SO MANY TIMES. SO MANY. I COULD HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO A HUMAN RUG.