Friday, July 19, 2013

Scaredy Cat

Last week I decided to head out and go on a hike up Goldstream Park. When I got to the park, there was a sign saying that there was a cougar in the area and that all hikers should travel in packs and stay on trails. I hesitated when I saw the sign because I really wanted to hike, but I also didn't want to become a statistic. Eventually I decided that since it was a Friday morning in the middle of July, that there would be lots of hikers/tourists on the trails making noise and screwing up any cougar stalk and kill plans.

So I headed up the mountain expecting another great hike, but after a couple kilometres, my heart was beating frantically from the sound of every leaf and twig that rustled from the wind. Every twist and turn on the trail I was expecting a cougar to jump off from a cliff and rip my face off. I started having vivid flask backs of every single news story that I had seen covering stories about joggers who were mauled by a cougar while enjoying their favourite running trails. Normally I don't care if there are animal sightings in the area, but it isn't very often that the sighting is a massive predatory carnivore. Bears are a common sighting and don't bother me, but the thought of being prey to a cougar eventually got to me, so I turned around and high tailed it out of there before there was a story about me on the 6 o'clock news.

This afternoon I headed back over the the park to take another attempt of a hike. Luckily the cougar warnings were lifted and I felt a bit better heading up the mountain with my camera in tow. It's strange how much one little fluorescent sign warning me of a cougar in the area could mess with my head so much. Realistically, I could get clobbered by a large wild cat any time that I go hiking, but that one sign saying that a cougar had actually been seen (when they are unseen every single day but that doesn't mean that they aren't there) made me not want to risk the risk that I take every time I head out.

Every time that I do this hike, I fall in love with it just a little bit more and all of the beauty it beholds.

There are bridges.

And narrow pathways with hand railings located above steep embankments

Mine shafts.


Railways trestles.

And lots of bits of information in random places.

What I really love about this trail is that it messes with your head. Right when you think you're at the end and get to head back down the mountain, the trail will swoop in another direction and keep you moving away from your end goal (the giant water bottle waiting in the car at the bottom). All you want is to just reach the bottom, but the trail has another idea for you instead. Keep on trekkin because the view is awesome.