08/09/06

Location =  Cibola National Forest  
Distance =  13.45
Time =  1:39:32
Ave. Speed =  8.0
Max. Speed =  33.5
Monthly Dist. =    136.41
Yearly Dist. =  2008.33

When I got home from work, and checked out the sky, things looked a little bit threatening. There was a big gray cloud to the east, and a big gray cloud to the west, but right overhead, things appeared relatively calm. I decided to take my chances, and headed out for the nearby trails on my mountain bike, keeping to the upper part of the mountain, in case the weather took a turn for the worse.

I rode down to David Canyon, and then up to Turkey Trot. Turkey Trot is a very difficult climb, but I did pretty well this time, only having to walk in a couple of spots. The forest is positively lush, with thick green plants, and mushrooms growing all over the place. I didn't positively recognize any edibles, so I left them alone.

It didn't rain until a couple of hours after my ride, so I made a good choice to head out. It was a nice evening, with temps in the 80s.

I got the shock of my life, when I arrived back at the house, at the end of the ride. As I was leaning my bike against the railing of the back deck, I looked across the backyard, and there was a mountain lion in the clearing in front of the shed. We made eye contact, and he tucked in his tail, and crouched down. We stared at each other for about a minute, and then he headed off into the trees. He didn't look to be exceptionally large, maybe about 80 pounds or so, but it was big enough. I am a little bit unnerved by the encounter. Now my illusion of safety in the forest, alone at night, has been shattered. I will always have that thought in the back of my mind that something is watching me. Watching is okay, preying upon, -- not okay.



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