Three Charlies….Nevada 1979

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They got this horse ranch out west a Elko. Good place to jungle. River runs through there.  There’s maybe ten acres a willas on the town side a the range. The trees, they’s more like bushes, is all ‘bout ten, twelve feet high. Ya stand in the yard and look out across the tops a the willas, and there may be twenty tramps jungled in there, and ya wouldn’t know it, them trees is so thick. Stayed there once, three weeks straight, waitin’ on a busted hand to heal up.

It’s a good spot, but’chas gotta keep an eye on them horses. They’ll be stompin’ ‘round in them willas all night long. Been a couple times I waked up to see them horses standin’ over me, sniffin’ my sleepin’ bag. Could get trampled easy. One time, there was six of us jungled in a little clearin’ right where the willas come down to the water. Had our fire and gunboats smack in the middle, next to where this trail cut through. Each guy was sleepin’ on the edge a this clearin’ in case the horses come through. Must’ve been ‘bout two a’clock in the mornin’, I waked up to shoutin’ and a big ruckus goin’ on like the place was on fire. Charlie’s across from me in his sleepin’ bag, and he’s hollerin’ at the horses. ‘Bout ten of ‘em wandered into the clearin’, and got too close to him, and he’s trying to shoo ‘em away. Well, them horses got all stirred up. They’d move from one side a the clearin’ to the other, each time nearly steppin’ on another guy. Pretty soon, everybody’s hollerin’ from their sleepin’ bags to scare the horses off, and them animals are runnin’ all over the place in the dark. They was spooked more ‘n we were. Guys were yellin’, and the horses was goin’ crazy. I put my hands over my head, an’ rolled into the trees and waited for the horses to break outta there. It was crazy. A miracle nobody was hurt. Every gunboat was stomped to shit. A couple water jugs smashed. There was a couple hoof prints on my pack; didn’t hurt nothin’. Had a good laugh at that one in the mornin’.