Because it’s Sunday and because we haven’t hiked in a few weeks, we decided today was the day to catch up on our hiking. Since we were going to be in the south county later today for a Christmas parade and because a friend had recently recommended hiking at a lake in south county, we decided to pay the $8 day fee and head out for a hike in south county, hoping that a hike around the lake would be worth the fee.
I really wanted to do the ridge hike, but it’s 7 miles and I knew that would be pushing it with Luke on my back, so we opted for the Cougar Hike, a 1.5. mile hike in, so a total of 3 miles total.
I’m not sure if this in one of my favorite hikes; we did seem to pass quite a few campgrounds, which made me feel like we weren’t really out in nature and away from people, but there were some incredibly beautiful parts.
We even saw deer:
When we finished the hike, I felt like we could still do a little more, so we crossed over to the other side of where we parked and did a short little hike to Rocky Point:
The most interesting part came right at the beginning of the hike when we turned a corner and heard a noise in the grass. I immediately thought it was a deer, but then I saw it. At first I thought, “fox”, but it was way too big to be a fox. Then I realized it was a bobcat. It was only about 10 feet away from me in the grass just off the trail. Maddie said it was a lion and wanted to turn back. I just laughed and kept staring at it.
I was so calm. There was no way I thought a bobcat would attack us. After about a 1 minute stare down, the bobcat turned around and walked away, and so we continued on with our hike. And while it was short, it really was stunning.
When we got to my sister’s after the hike, I was telling my brother-in-law about seeing the bobcat. He said, “so you saw the pointy ears they have?”
“Ummm…no. The bobcat didn’t have pointy ears. It had normal ears,” I said.
A friend said, “and the tail? it was a bob tail, a cut off tail?”
“Ummm…no, it had a long tail,” I said.
My brother-in-law pointed out that I had not seen a bobcat, but rather a mountain lion. After a quick internet search of what a bobcat and mountain lion look like, I can–with absolute clarity as I can still see the animal staring at me–say that it was, in fact, a mountain lion.
Dude. A mountain lion and I spent one whole minute staring at each other from just 10 feet away. I feel, well, breathless. I can’t believe we were that close to a mountain lion. But I think the fact that I was so calm and not scared at all (thinking it was a bobcat, after all) kept us safe.
But, damn! A mountain lion. Me and the kids. That’s a close call.
Anyway, we finished the evening with a whole bunch of friends for South County’s annual Christmas parade.
And I love the small town Christmas parade where all you really need are some lights and people and maybe a dog to participate.
I’m thankful for our very full day of hiking and then watching the parade. We all had a great time.
I’m also incredibly thankful that I jedi-mind tricked that mountain lion.