Thursday, May 21, 2020

Woman Who Runs With Big Cats

I am generally a before or after work runner. Even during quarantine, when I've been working from home for 10 weeks, I have generally run at the beginning or the end of my day. 

Today was an exception.

It had been really hot all week, and this morning was cool, but I had calls starting at 6am. I didn't want to run in stifling heat, and I had an open spot after my 9am call ended, so I laced up and got out the door. I was thinking a quick 6, and back to work, and I wouldn't have to go out later so I could work until our small group call, which wouldn't be a problem since Eric is out storm chasing anyway.

I was a mile down the road when Eric called. 

"Where are you?"
"I'm out running."

"I JUST GOT AN ALERT. THERE IS A MOUNTAIN LION... garble garble... dead...."

"A mountain lion? Where? Did you know I was running? A dead what? Did someone shoot the mountain lion?"

Well, it turned out Eric was calling me from his chase, and no, he didn't know I was running until I picked up. He'd just gotten an urgent alert from NextDoor, and wanted to tell me about it. Someone reported that a mountain lion had killed a deer in their front yard and had been spotted not long ago...

Right where I was headed in about 50 feet.

I made a quick right and headed back for the main road, which I fortunately was at the crossroads for  - there aren't a whole lot of crossroads around here! I starting thinking about where I needed to run to keep away from the mountain lion territory, or if I needed to just turn and get home and at this point, what the best way home might be, given the large amount of land mountain lions can cover.

He texted a minute later.

"I think its on the other side of the highway, not by you."

Oh, ok! Phew! Resume run. Couple more miles and I've just turned back into the neighborhood to get a bit of a climb in when...

"He's on your side. Be very careful."

At this point "my side" was basically right where I had turned in to.

Crap. 

Crap, crap, crappity crap. 

I mean, I run with pepper spray, but I'd really rather not have to try to mace a wild animal if I don't absolutely have to... 

Turn around, head back for the main road. I happen by another runner, and let her know what Eric's just told me, and she turns around too.

I took the main road back, where I hoped traffic would be a little heavier (turned out it was book drop day at the elementary school, so our tiny little neighborhood DID have some cars rolling by during quarantine), and stayed on it until the last possible turn off for my street, slogged up the slope, and made the turn for the last half mile home.

It was a very fast half mile.

From our wilderness cam two years ago. I have no desire to
meet this on a run.


1 comment:

  1. What an adventure! Nothing like the real threat of predatory wildlife to bring up your pace and keep the route varied. Glad you missed the cat!

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