I had a day to myself today and after puttering around the house getting various things done, I decided to head out for a hike. I’d been wanting to go for a hike but didn’t have a date, and while hiking alone doesn’t bother me, I am less inclined to go if I don’t have anyone there I have to meet. So I surprised myself with a late afternoon visit to Mission Trails. I packed some water, snacks, and the book I’m currently (re)reading and headed out.
But I am me. And Me is anxious. Or cute. There’s a pin I’ve seen that threatens to seduce you with my awkwardness. I wonder now if I can also seduce people with my anxieties? Because if so? WATCH OUT WORLD.
But I digress.
Point being that there are signs as you enter the park about mountain lions and how to not get eaten by them. I’ve never worried about these signs before because I’ve never hiked alone. Also because I have never noticed these signs before.
Mission Trails isn’t desolate and lonely. I won’t hike in places that are. Not alone, anyway. That’s how you get killed by, well, mountain lions. Or bad people. Or possibly sasquatches (our local ones are called “zoobies“. True story). So there were mostly lots of people around (including ones high up on the hills climbing rocks and shouting, “THERE’S A BIG RATTLESNAKE BY YOUR DOG!” True story) except for when there weren’t. People around. If you lost me after that last parenthetical phrase. (What? I like parenthetical phrases. It’s like my catchphrase. Except it’s not a catchphrase at all. It’s a… catchpunctuation?)
Oy with the digression already!
So there was a time where I was totally alone. And it was beautiful. And I was quite proud of myself for loving the solitude, for I am a citygirl who is quite afraid of solitude. But here I was enjoying the moment. The birds were singing. There was a frog croaking. There was something giant moving in the bushes. WHAT? The thing about Nature is that “giant” things in bushes tend to be, like, tiny birds or lizards. But my brain had already moved on to tomorrow’s headlines, “Woman, 34, mauled by mountain lion IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN ROAD.” And then I knocked wood and forced myself to, like, think of hobbits and stuff. Thank god there aren’t horses at Mission Trails or I’d have been certain the ringwraiths were coming.
And now I’m never going to Mission Trails again.
But MOSTLY the hike was lovely. I stopped at the dam to read, but the flies were all, “Wow, this chick is seducing us with her anxieties!” so I didn’t get very far before I decided to head back.
The moral of the story is, I think, always bring xanax to Nature. Just in case.