Mountain Lion #2



While hiking alone early this afternoon, I rounded a bend to find a Mountain Lion sitting calmly on the trail about 40 feet away. The big cat took a minute to notice, then, unfazed, just gazed at me curiously while I stared right back in amazement. What to do?

I took some photos, then, thinking vaguely like a matador, unpacked my silver umbrella in case the kitty was feeling feisty (no big deal). And… well, we kept staring at each other, neither of us budging, for almost ten full minutes. I checked out every whisker through my new Leica binoculars – awesome! Finally he looked away, stretched, rose to his feet, and padded silently down the trail, quickly disappearing around the next corner. You couldn’t ask for a much closer encounter – definitely more satisfying than my first one, back in northern California. Today, I beat that Mountain Lion in a staring contest, face to face.

Otherwise, I hiked 30.0 miles, climbed 5,000 feet and descended nearly as much, and camped by a sweet river with Sniper and Todd. I have now walked farther than the length of the entire Appalachian Trail – but still have 500 miles to go. It feels good to be in Washington.

5 replies
  1. Zenobia in Portland
    Zenobia in Portland says:

    No, no, no – you did no win the staring contest with the big kitty – you were dismissed from the royal audience. What an awesome encounter!

  2. AnonyMoose
    AnonyMoose says:

    Wow, less than 500 miles. That might explain the smile!
    As for the Big Cat, it seems to be thinking “Hummm… he smells like Chicken, Tuna, a Sausage dog, and… I just can’t place that last smell…”
    I’m also glad to see the presence of universal signs. They never cease to amuse me. (You correctly might be wondering, what doesn’t). Anyway, I see that they don’t allow 2 umbrellas while riding your bike, so be sure and follow the rules. ;)

  3. Laura Johnson
    Laura Johnson says:

    I’ve talked to lots of people who have seen cougars, most from vehicles and some (the even luckier ones, in my opinion) while on foot (in both cases, the vast majority of sightings are but mere glimpses). But, WHO EVER has an almost 10 minute encounter with a cougar and gets photos, no less??? (I’m not jealous, at all) If anyone deserves to, though, it’s someone with a deep appreciation of nature, who hikes 2600 miles in one summer!

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