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.