Monday, August 30, 2010

Its All Fun and Games until You're Eaten by a Mountain Lion

Let me just start by saying that no, none of us were eaten by a mountain lion, or came even close to being eaten by a mountain lion. We didn't even see a mountain lion. But on our Saturday hike we encountered this:

which really looked suspiciously to us like a scratching post used by a wilderness-sized kitty. A good friend of mine is a runner who lives up in the mountains and she has indeed encountered mountain lions on her morning run (which? would TOTALLY be a reasonable excuse for me to never, ever run ever again. ever.), so I know they're in these parts. And I'm glad we encountered the above scratching post near the end of our hike, else I am fairly certain I'd have turned us all around and gone home to watch a movie in our living room--you know, where the cats only weigh 10lbs and are fed on a regular basis so as to keep them from attacking and eating us.

But before we came upon the omen o' doom scratching post, we had a really nice hike. Ethan and I took Husband back to the nature trail that we'd been to earlier this month with Ethan's summer camp field trip.

We did a lot of oooh'ing & aahhh'ing over the red woods.

we even laid down on the ground to get the full effect of their freaking amazing majesty and all that...

My favorite face

Here is Ethan, playing park ranger, as he told us that he was busy "scientist-ing" and pointing out to us all the different features of the park. He insisted that he needed a pointer in order to tell us about the sign--apparently he's been sneaking out and attending forestry lectures a local college or something....I took forestry in college to fulfill a science credit. I hope learns more than I did.

Ethan is the only thing in this picture not covered by a thin layer of moss.

Husband taught Ethan the fine art of descending a steep patch sideways to avoid sliding down into a gaping ravine. So, you know, that was helpful. Amazingly, Husband refrained from telling Ethan about the time he himself almost fell off the side of a mountain in Honduras. Maybe next time. (it is a good story)

Ethan the monster being ever-so-scary as he jumps up from behind a hollowed out tree stump. Much as I imagine the mountain lion who wanted to eat us may have done.

Chasing Husband down the trail, again, like the mountain lion might have had we encountered him. It was shortly after this that we found the shredded tree stump.

We came upon a massive hollowed out redwood trunk and the next set of pictures is taken from inside the trunk of the tree:

Husband outside of the massive tree trunk

Ethan, looking super tough, inside the tree trunk with me

The view straight up from my seat inside the tree trunk

wonky self-portrait from inside the tree trunk

After Ethan and I scrambled out of the tree trunk and we all managed to successfully avoid an encounter with a newly manicured mountain lion, we headed back to civilization.

I never thought we'd be the hiking type of family--maybe a walk on the beach or a walk around the neighborhood after dinner type of family; but never a trudge through the wilderness on a trail vaguely maintained by park rangers type of family. We missed a lot of opportunities in Virginia and again in Los Angeles (which had some surprisingly good hiking), but I'm so glad we're making the most of Northern California and becoming less daunted by the great outdoors (mountain lions excepted, of course).


cicadalady said...

i literally get an email in my inbox every week from our neighborhood listserv about either a mountain lion or bear sighting in our neighborhood! so crazy. still getting used to that. beautiful photos - you guys have been going on some great adventures!

Becca said...

Love the lying down pictures of the redwoods!! So cool! We've been meaning to spend more time outside, but our weather is ridiculous. Maybe in February.

Mama Bub said...

Great redwood pictures!

Technically, there is a hiking trail behind my house that starts right at the end of my street. Interesting, because we live smack dab in the middle of suburbia. There are frequent mountain lion sightings there and we hear the coyotes nightly, so I'll never know if it's a nice walk or not.

Hyacynth said...

I dunno, Sarah ... but I think if I lived near mountain lions that would be a GREATER incentive to keep running ... just in case the big old kitty and I ever crossed paths. lol

CynSP said...

Awesome pictures of your beautiful family! We live in the Los Angeles area also & my husband is becoming obsessed with hiking, so I know it is only a matter of time before we will be out blazing trails with him and we will hopefully remain free from any big cat encounters...yikes!

I had to laugh at your post from A Whole Lot of Nothing about your encounter with the Infectious Disease M.D. that did rounds at 3 A.M. Was that a Dr. Mc Carthy? I was hospitalized last May for an infection in my hip & this doc came like clockwork in the middle of the night & I could never get back to sleep! The nurses said that he has always been a night owl, so curiosity got the best of me & I had to ask you. Some coincidence, yes? Anyhow, you are obviously better, so thank goodness for that. Take care!