There is a trail run I like to do that takes me past the Ranchehouse and keeps me on the trails for part of the way. Seems they've done some 'improvements' to the trail as they've now put a layer of gravel down rather than have the dirt path that was there. Honestly, I'm not too impressed.
This area is meant to be rugged. One is meant to walk, or run, through the dirt and grass, just like they did WAAAY back when. Oh well, I didn't have to run too far before I found my way back on the dirt trail. I think they only did the gravel around the Ranchehouse area.
As I ran through the tall grass along the trail I started to pretend I was 'Princess Runs With Braids Crunching Leaves'. Yes, this actually made the run more fun. I had a bit more bounce in my step and maneouvered over roots and down the dirt steps. I was careful going down these steps because the last time I darn near went arse over tea kettle on them when my shoelace got caught on a railway tie.
It only took me about 10 minutes to get through this part so I decided to head out to the dirt road that connects with the path and takes you to 'Dr. Fosters'. I swear he has the most brilliant house around as it's nestled far away from town in a valley. Sigh.
As I neared the dirt road I thought I heard a scream. Not a human scream, but an animal scream. Needless to say I stopped dead in my tracks. I had tissue in my ears (I get earaches from the cold) so I wasn't sure exactly what I was hearing...but I wanted to figure it out before I went ahead. I saw through the tress that some Yahoo in a giant truck had his brakes on and was screeching the tires - hence the 'screaming' sound. Eejit. I didn't know what was up so I just hung back until they squealed off. Good thing I could hide out in the trees with my ultra neon yellow jacket!!
I think that incident kind of spooked me because then my imagination started to play with me. As I ran up the road to Fosters I kept wondering if the bears in the area were hibernating and when exactly was the last time someone saw a cougar up here?! (The furry variety, not the gaudy variety.)
The run to the turnaround point was uneventful, thankfully, but I did imagine having a cougar leap out at me and me having to wrestle with the thing whilst saying 'I really don't want to hurt you!'. Of course because I was Princess Runs With Braids Crunching Leaves I won the wrestling match.
I turned back after half an hour. As I was running I noticed a wet spot on the road. Hmm....dog pee or big kitty pee?? No, there was nothing else around that would make that.
Now if I were Brian Keating, I would have gotten on all fours and sniffed it. But I'm not, so I didn't. Ew. I did have heightened Spidey senses after that though. I kept checking around me and looking in the trees. 'Here kitty, kitty...'
As I neared the pathway I was to run back on, I saw two trucks stop. This is not a through road so I was wondering what they were doing. As I got closer I saw it was a bunch of kids, likely taking a lunch break from school. I didn't check out what else they could be doing.
I was much happier once I got back on the trail and was root jumping again. I was still on the lookout for felines, but at least I could hear people on the other side of the creek so if need be I could yell.
One of these days I'm going to have to read up more on the wildlife around here. It seems funny to think that we have wild animals nearby, but this town really isn't far from where they live and they have been known to stop by for a nibble or two.
I had a great run, although my mind was preoccupied with whether or not I was going to encounter a really big kitty. Perhaps next time I run out there I'll take a friend - one that's slower than me of course.
Peace out my friends.