Today I did one of the dumbest things ever – we are lucky to be alive!
The morning was perfect – 6:30am at Mission Trails Park (Santee side) riding with my friend Tim. Upon entering the grasslands we saw five deer – awesome and also eerily prophetic!
Today we were riding the lowers 8’s. These are four trails intersecting with Spring Canyon climbing to the ridges (both sides, east and west) and the dropping down canyons back to Spring. After climbing the first lower 8 we dropped down onto SWEET singletrack. Tim stops up a head (he’s stinking fast!) Looking down, I notice blood and broken bushes.
The blood was FRESH – not even coagulated. Also we saw a liver and intestines – this was a recent deer kill by a mountain lion – awesome! I took out my Blackberry and started taking pictures and then a video.
As you can see on the video, I know the mountain lion is nearby. Instead of leaving, we stay and Tim actually tries to find the cat! DUMB!!! Being on the short side of intelligence – I’m rolling away with my video. Slowly the danger sets in – we need to get out of here!
As I’m hopping on my bike Tim shouts and points to a baby fawn carcass several feet from the trail. This is the truly stupid part! We get off our bikes and I get my video camera out – taking a quick video of the carcass. Tim wants to touch the carcass to see if it was warm. Of course it was! The blood is still fresh and dripping! This is BAD – that mountain lion is CLOSE and watching us. We need to leave NOW. We get on our bikes, staying close, we slowly ride away.
I showed the video to Ranger Mel at the Park. He confirmed we were very lucky. Had Tim touched the carcass, we’d have been attacked! The mountain lion would have defended his food. Mel then asked for the video. He wants to show people WHAT NOT TO DO!
I’ll never forget this ride. We witnessed God ‘s creation and creatures like we’ve never seen before. Our God is also kind – even for fools who know better. Ironically Tim and I were talking how we’d like to die in the beginning of the ride. I mentioned being killed by a Mountain Lion would be cool – I really am stupid.