Lions and Tigers and Bears

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Well, we didn’t see a bear up in Suce Creek last evening, but we did come across a mountain lion. We’d had a nice hike; I was with my friends the Campbells — and had been talking a lot about bears, since Bill is the guy who has spent so much time filming them. Had our bear spray with us, but with four dogs, and general conversation, we weren’t really worried. After we got back to the trailhead, we grabbed a picnic table in the campsite — a really nice one up in the trees, a lot of brush around (which now doesn’t seem like such a great thing)– and proceeded to enjoy a little early-evening beer and cheetos. We were hanging out, the dogs had been exploring around and were all back, flopped around the picnic table when all of a sudden they all leapt up and started barking. There was something in the brush, although we thought maybe the folks who’d left their horse trailer at the trailhead were simply returning. The dogs were very excited, and we called them back and made them sit while Maryanne stood on the picnic table to see if she could tell what had them so worked up. We couldn’t see what it was, but the dogs continued to sit and stare fixedly into the brush for five or ten minutes, and so, since we were done with our beers anyway, we packed up and headed back to the cars. Bill and Maryanne were in the car ahead of me, and I was sort of spacing out listening to the radio when I noticed they’d pulled over ahead of me on the access road. Turns out, they’d seen the lion — it had run alongside the road for about 50 yards, then crossed over. Bill and Maryanne lived in Africa for a long time, and Maryanne was very funny — “I didn’t know they were so big!” she said. “It looked like an African lion.” Then she turned to me and said “No more hiking alone for you.” Which is kind of a drag, because I love hiking alone, but I think she’s probably right. And on the other hand, I also love living in a place where I’m not the highest thing on the food chain. So, time to find a hiking buddy …

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