I was desperate to get out of the house. I live the majority of my life inside, homeschooling kids and cleaning and cooking. So, when my husband has a day off I am itching to GET OUT!
It was late in the day and we were lazing about, I was probably pouting about not getting out yet (it’s a yucky behavior I know, but it happens and I’m all about keeping it real around here). So my sweet husband took us out. We went to our go to place, Hunting Hallow (check out our blog post for more details about it) since it was pretty late in the day and fairly close to our home. By the time we got there the sun was setting but we were hopeful to get in a quick hike before all the sun was gone. What I didn’t account for we this trail being in a canyon…so it was super dusky. It made for nice a nice atmosphere but all the people hiking out must have thought we were crazy hiking in when they were hiking out. Oh, I forgot to mention, mountain lions live in these hills. There wasn’t a notice posted about a recent sighting so we weren’t totally insane but, we are aware that they could be around.
On to the story. We were hiking our usual trail crossing dry river beds and watching the sun set. We stopped to look at some birds and then we heard something. Something creeping through the woods behind us. Leaves were softly crunching, the sound was rhythmical and steady. I made eye contact with my husband and we were both a bit concerned. I took the kids up trail a bit to look at some moss or something. My heart was racing. What if it’s a mountain lion? Is this how we die? Is this how my husband sacrifices himself so we can run away? My thoughts in this were super dramatic!
The kids were running around on the trail, my oldest boy was starting to pick up on the tension. My husband was checking things out, creeping closer into the brush. And then he froze. I held my breath. What was it? What did he see?
Then my husband started laughing. Like almost crying, laughing. I breathed a sigh of relief, it must not be a mountain lion. Erik started walking back towards the kids and I laughing ‘It’s a squirrel!’, he said. Face palm! Oh my gosh! Well we felt really stupid but, also glad that it wasn’t a mountain lion.
We watched the little squirrel, who was storing nuts for winter. The little creature would grab a nut and then pounce it into the ground, making the big walking sound that we heard. He was busily storing nuts, paying no attention to us freaking out about his stomping sounds. We all had a good laugh and then headed back to our car. We had experienced enough excitement for one hike.
So there you have it, our almost mountain lion encounter. I’m so thankful it wasn’t a mountain lion. We live and hike where they do and our kids have been taught what to do if we do see one, but I hope to never have to put that knowledge into practice. I hope you enjoyed this silly story from the trail. Learn from our mistake, go hiking earlier in the day to avoid having a heart attack over a squirrel hiding his nuts.
Remeber to get up, get out and create an adventure.