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Click this flickr link for a few photographic updates.  I started at a trailhead called Section 16 yesterday evening and realized that it connects with a whole web of trails that go on for miles and miles.  The five I hiked were more than enough!

No adventures too out of the ordinary to report, although I did momentarily stand just about nose-to-nose with a white-tailed deer.  I had my headphones in; my beginner’s backback housing a protein bar, sunglasses, and my camera; and I since I hadn’t seen another hiker or biker for about 15 minutes, I was singing Athlete’s Outsiders at the absolute top of my lungs.  I could hear my voice from the inside of my ears, like listening to sound from a long hollow wrapping paper tube.  But I could not hear the hoofs of this deer coming down a steep incline to my right. 

The soles of my shoes stuck to the sticks they were crushing on the forest floor and I tugged my earbuds so they fell to a limp sway at my waist.  Hadn’t read a thing about deer – I wasn’t sure if he would charge at me or run scared.  Did he think like a rattlesnake – that quicker movements increased the threat to his safety?  I stood very still.  His eyes were huge and moist.  They blinked to life twice while he stared at me, which is something the deer heads on my Grandfather’s wall that I used to pet when I was a child never did.  His tail flicked to the side and he turned and ran up the incline, leaving me stunned and laughing on the dirt path. 

I directed some bikers, who wore the full spandex edition and helmet with visor which was hardly necessary, to a canyon trail I had passed a quarter mile back.  I hiked inconsequentially to a dried up waterfall and back to my car, where I mostly collapsed into my front seat.  Close encounters, no near-death experiences.  Happy hiking.