Mountain Lion!


Honeybuzz and I hiked 30.3 miles today, my longest yet, with a leisurely seven a.m. start and a two-hour lunch break at the Feather River.

Near the end of a 4,000-foot descent to the river, Honeybuzz was about 100 feet ahead of me when he spooked a Mountain Lion off the trail. I heard a faint rustling in the leaf litter and looked up just in time to catch the big cat sprinting away downslope at full speed through the oak trees, gone in a second; Honeybuzz also heard it but unfortunately didn’t see anything. Last week I followed cougar tracks for about a mile along a snowy section of trail, on top of the prints of hikers just a couple hours ahead of me (and heading the same direction…) but to actually see a Mountain Lion, however briefly, was unexpected and awesome! We also found a Rubber Boa on the trail this morning, my second in three days, and I was pleased to stumble into a colorful King Snake today – a good day for wildlife.

At about eight p.m. we had just hit 30 miles after climbing 3,000 feet up from the river and were searching for a flat spot to camp when the trail suddenly bisected a remote gravel road. As I stepped out to cross it in the dusk, an SUV came flying around the corner, headlights flashing – it was Honeybuzz’s dad, who had teamed up with a local trail angel named Nancy while visiting. Somehow, incredibly, they drove up to leave a note at that intersection at the exact moment we hit it; ten seconds either way and we’d have missed each other. Within 30 minutes I was being fed a burger and barbecued ribs. And, instead of my tent, I’m sleeping on the back deck of a beautiful two-story cabin in the woods tonight, showered, with breakfast promised in the morning. Who knew?

3 replies
  1. megan elrod
    megan elrod says:

    hey noah-

    i’ll be up in chico with mark starting tomorrow for the next several weeks, and we’re probably going to shasta next weekend. it would be fun to catch up, and of course we could bring you some things you might be lacking. let me know. hope it’s going well. cheers!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply