I'm going for a run up one of my favorite canyons yesterday, 11.5 miles of boulder hopping, log jumping, and stream crossings in the fading evening light.
As I'm rounding a bend, a man in street clothes is bolting down the canyon, a wild look in his eyes, covered in sweat. He's yelling something at me from 50 yards out.
"There's a mountain lion right around the corner up there!"
"I think it's feeding on something. That's why I'm running."
The guy looks a little off to me. Though, he is sweating profusely and he genuinely panicked.
"So where is it?"
"On the left, right around the next bend. I wouldn't go if I were you!"
I go investigate.
No mountain lions. I continue my run. Another runner catches me a mile later.
"Did you run into the guy raving about the mountain lion?" I ask.
"I wouldn't have this rock in my hand if I didn't."
I see him turn back in another mile. I continue for 4 more miles, returning home through the canyon in the dark. I wonder about being eaten by a lion. I'd go for the thumb gouge into its eyes...if I could. Maybe I'd be a hero, covered in bite marks, dragging its corpse out in the night as evidence. The media would be contact me. MAN KILLS MOUNTAIN LION WITH BARE HANDS.
Or maybe I'd be disemboweled by a giant cat beside the stream. That's more likely. At least I'd be going out like a warrior. Or prey. But I suppose it would make for a more interesting obituary than choking to death on a Frito or dying of a stroke in Denny's at age 73.