Thursday, September 16, 2010

Michal the Mountain Woman

I have found that I am very much a flat-lander and rather citified at that. It's not that I don't enjoy mountain living, I truly do, but I am....inexperienced.

If you follow my blogs you know that I am living where mountain lions and bears dwell. I have yet to see one but we all make sure we have the kids and pets in at dusk and dawn for safety, you don't hike alone, we bring in our hummingbird feeders, keep our trash in until pick up time and these sorts of things. I see foxes on a near daily basis and there is rumor of coyotes but they are not typically in these parts.

The previous owners of our house did have a bear on their front deck that was trying to get to their hummingbird feeder just this summer. In our neighborhood there are community chalkboards along the way advertising things for sale, lost pets and bear sightings.

It's kind of fun and novel right now. There's a small element of concern but nothing that keeps me from going out and enjoying this place.

At Baking Day this week, some of the ladies invited me to go mountain biking with them. I declined since A. I don't have a bike and B. I can't recall the last time I was on a bike on FLAT land let alone a rocky mountain terrain.

These same ladies go skiing every Wednesday during ski season and would like me to join them in that as well. Hm...we'll see. I'm not a fan of not having control.

"The more you ski the more you will gain control!" encouraged one ski bunny. I'm just wondering how many times I will have to fall down in the wet snow before I finally gain this control...

One evening one of my dear friends called from Texas. To quiet the noise of my children and the call of the dishes in the kitchen, I took a glass of wine and my phone out on to the front deck. We have a bench there that faces a lovely view and the hummingbird feeder.

The feeder was busy that evening and was providing a great show! The hummingbirds are just so beautiful and spunky! They are a bit territorial so it's fun to watch them dive bomb each other. They make a great zing-zing sound too.

So I sat there chatting with my friend, Shalah, and watching the hummingbirds when one flew right at my face! I kid you not! Very unfortunate for my friend on the phone, I screamed.

"Oh my lands!" I gasped, "A hummingbird just buzzed me and went right for my FACE!"

"Uh huh. A hummingbird, eh?"

"Yes! At my FACE!"

"Why don't you settle down there Mountain Woman. It's just a hummingbird."

"I know they are tiny but they have very long sharp beaks. Very sharp looking and quite threatening when it is coming right at you. Did I not mention it charged my FACE!"

My theory is that is was going for my wine.


Today I joined my neighbor at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a work out. (Google it.) She works out with a trainer there. I don't quite feel up to joining them yet. I still get out of breath walking up our driveway. I opted instead to take a hike on one of the many trails around the facility.

At the Trading Post they directed me to an easy trail. A little more then a mile, it basically goes in a circle and ends back at the Trading Post. Sounded pretty perfect and they said that it's great for beginner hikers and people still acclimating.

"Is it safe to go alone?" I asked.

"Oh sure!"

With that I headed out and followed the arrows on the trail. Not far along I started to get a little creeped out. There was no one on the trail. What if I run into someone and they are a crazy rapist or something? I mean, if I was killed out there an animal could eat my remains and I would never be found!

I kicked a few of the big rocks in the trail until one was loose. A weapon. Anyone messing with me will get their head bashed in.

Sweet. That was good. I felt a little better.  I continued and then...there was rustling in the bushes.  I raised my rock to shoulder height and encouraged myself to press on.  There was more rustling and then....a bunny hopped out.  I tried to take a picture but it hopped away.  Then the dirt trail sort of ended and it was an expanse of rock.

I guess I walk out on the rock then...

There are signs posted everywhere that tell you not to climb the rocks. It's like a $1000 fine! I felt very naughty to be hiking on the rocks.

I hiked on and the rock ended and a dirt trail picked up. At the end of the rock was a sign that said "Danger Beyond This Point."

Is that danger past here or past the edge of the rock?

I reasoned it was past the rocks edge but I was unnerved anyway. I had not gone far down the trail when, about a foot in front of me, a mouse scurried across the trail. I screamed and decided to turn back, reasoning that if there were mice there were SNAKES!

When I was almost back to the start of the trail I came upon two ladies walking with dogs. They seemed cool and they had dogs for protection so I asked if they would let me join them.

"I got a little spooked walking alone and by some of the critters on the trail."

"Well...what sort of animals did you encounter?"

"Um...well.." I got embarrassed as I began to realize how silly I was about to sound. "There was a mouse."

"Uh huh...and were you going to smash the mouse with your rock?"

"Oh. No. That was for people. I mean, like if there was a crazy person on the trail or something."

We stood there for a brief moment as we all realized that I was the crazy person on the trail.

"Oh well there are snakes out here," piped in the other gal. She obviously felt sorry for me and did not want me to feel like a bigger idiot then I already did. "It is better for you to hike with someone. You can walk with us."

I think I may have seen daggers shoot from the other chicks eyes but her friend either did not notice or ignored them.

"What's your name? Where are you from?" I guess it was pretty evident that I was not from around here. And so we went on our way as I begged them to not judge other Texans based on their encounter with me.

In the end, they invited me to meet them again sometime in the mornings. They kept it pretty vague though...

I told Aaron about the trail.

"Is it somewhere we can take guests?" he asked.

"Well...some people."

"Some people to hike and some people to die?"

"Exactly. Our young athletic guests to hike. Our elderly guests to die."

I did not tell him about the mouse or the boogey man/trail bunny. I am Michal the Mountain Woman....sort of.

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