What a morning! Heading up to Boulder this morning for a 9am meeting I thought it would be nice to hit a good trail and tag a summit. I needed something simple (time constraint). So, I decided to just run straight up flag staff trail. This trail literally just goes straight to the top. Along the trail is a mountain road which is a switch back to the top.
Very near to the top I hear some yelling behind me. I looked down the trail and it was a man frantically yelling at me from the driver seat of a school bus. I headed down to see what was the problem. He simply yelled, “mountain lion, mountain lion!” He was obviously frightened. He pointed up the trail about 20 yards. Right where I was headed was a big ole’ mountain lion. It just looked down the trail at us. I turned back to the bus driver and he had already sped down the mountain. Oh nooooo, I was then frightened. Suddenly, two runners came flying down from a different path. They were aware of the cougar and we quickly made our way down the mountain together. Actually, we had some great conversation on the way down.
Let me say a word about safety. Typically, I do trail runs only with a running partner. Today was different. I could not find someone with availability to hit the trail. So, I knew that there would be running groups out on the trails. My plan was to keep people in eye sight while on trail, or at least close enough that they could hear me. This actually made me feel more at ease when I saw the greeting of a big furry friend. I also had my cell phone with me. No, I was not planning to answer a call (unless it was my wife). The purpose was for emergency calls. I have considered getting a GPS device (such as SPOT II) for these adventures.
I would rather run with the wild then stride on a treadmill. The reality is that the cougar didn’t want anything to do with a human…. or so I would like to believe. I have seen many animals out on the trails and it brings me great excitement to run with the creatures (well most of them)!