Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mountain Lions, Coyotes, and Hunters Oh My

Seven years ago my wife and I bought a house in Charlestown on the edge of Burlingame Sate Park. It's a fantastic place to run, hike, bike, and even swim. For the first couple of years, we both spent a lot of time enjoying the park. Our family then doubled, and it was hard to get out like we wanted to. But as time goes by, we are getting the opportunity to get back into the woods.

My favorite trails in Burlingame just happen to feel like some of the most remote places in RI - especially when running alone. Maybe it's all the the coyote activity that was occurring when I first moved in. I could hear them at night, see them during the day in the neighborhood, and follow their footsteps in the snow. One of my (irrational) fears, is stumbling upon a pack of coyotes around a corner on one of these trails. Then there is the recent gossip of the presence of mountain lions. It seems pretty far-fetched that a cougar has found it's way into southern RI. But, when I'm alone, it seems way more realistic, especially when you can sense one peering down at your from a lonely rocky ridge. One final fear I have is crossing the site hairs of a buzzed, trigger happy hunter, no matter how much orange I may be wearing. During the deer season, I may avoid these trails altogether.
The likelihood of one of these scenarios actually happening is minuscule. I don't know why I never worry about things like falling and breaking/twisting/tearing something or running into a tree or off a ledge. Rather than a pack of coyotes or a mountain lion, there's a much better chance I'll step on a bees nest. But worry, nonetheless, is what I do while I'm running these trails alone. The one benefit of this, is that my pace dramatically quickens. I make quick work of hills and rough terrain that are filled with these horrible creatures. And the adrenaline rush makes me not feel the pain.

Monday was the last day of my six day weekend. I was still sore from my Friday snow run and feeling a little tired from the margaritas the night before, but with some encouragement from my wife and motivation from my blog, I headed out for some of these remote trails I hadn't run on in quite some time....


  1. Jonny,
    Don't forget sasquatch. Everyone knows Washington County is a hotbed for sasquatch migration.
    Count me in for the North South Trail trip. Maybe I'll bring my buddy John...

  2. Ah yes. The sasquatch. There hasn't been a reliable sighting around here since about 1993 though.

    John can join us as long as he doesn't have a fancy bike. Crappy bikes only.