Mountain Lions

We went on a 7 mile hike from the steep ravine trail in marin to stinson beach this weekend. I had a pretty hellish work week and was so excited to finally be out on the trail. As I was considering this about five minutes in, I tripped over a root and sprained my ankle. I wasn’t about to let that ruin my day off so I foolishly hiked the rest of the 7 miles on it. I paid for this the next day when I had to call into work because I couldn’t put any weight on it. The hike was incredible, pretty hilltops with ocean views into rainforest groves and suddenly you are in downtown Stinson beach. We watched the surfers and ate sandwiches in the sand.

On our hike today we encountered warning signs for Mountain Lions, Rattle Snakes and Great White Sharks. This sign for mountain lions assured us that mountain lions were an important species to the area and although they sometimes attack humans, you are very lucky  to see one. They urge us to report to the forest service if we do in fact get attacked by one on our hike.

My number one fear on the pct is mountain lions. While seeing a mountain lion  is rare I have heard it said that if a mountain lion lets itself be seen it is because it is ready to attack. Mountain lion attacks have been on the rise, between 1990 and 2003 there were seventy-three recorded mountain lion attacks in north America, 10 of which were fatal. One guess as to why this is happening is the ever expanding suburbs are pushing the animals out of their habitats and into the wilds. Supposedly mountain lions usually go for children, which doesn’t make me feel much better considering I am only 5 feet tall.  They tend to sneak up behind you and bite the back of your neck, neatly severing your spinal cord. If you see a mountain lion you are not supposed to act afraid (easier to read in your Guide book than do in real life). You are to make yourself big , make tons of noise and act aggressive. You should never run , these are just big cats and a running signals prey. As my favorite line in our PCT guide book says, “if attacked fight back, To flee is to die”.

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~ by elenimonos on July 17, 2010.

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