oh, deer, gaviota

ugh, before entering the trail to see the wind caves, I saw a warning sign about mountain lions. I decided to go anyway, but not before meeting a man who was reading the same sign and who had recently encountered a mountain lion (while in his vehicle). I told him where I was headed so we hiked up together, but he seemed more afraid than I was. if a man lets you take the lead on a hike where there are mountain lions, that kinda says a lot about him, especially after telling me he wouldn't have hiked it if I wasn't going. yes, he straight out told me that. plus, I tested him. every time I saw a lizard wiggle its way across my path, I would stop and pretend I had seen something amidst the bushes. he would get very quiet. I sensed fear. he tried to play it cool, but so did I. that was a fucked up thing to do on my part, but mountain lions ain't no joke. I wanted to sense how afraid he was to see how alone I was in all this in case we did encounter a mountain lion, not that it was going to make any difference...

we stopped at the wind caves to take some pictures. they were pretty disappointing so I decided to hike farther. I left him behind but kept an eye on him just to see how far up I was going. fear really started to set in on me when I could no longer see him. I hiked back down and saw him waiting at the trailhead. we small talked on the way back to our cars. he got a phone call from his wife asking him to stop at Albertson's on the way back home. I never got his name and he never got mine.

the highlight of this hike: the deer. not only did we spot them on the way up to see the wind caves, but they also reappeared at the trailhead, thumping back to the bushes when they saw us coming. it was the most adorable thing even though they'd probably kick my ass if I tried to give them eskimo kisses.

(i'm still playing around with this mirrorless camera. apparently, i'm not playing around with it enough.