Saturday, October 23, 2010
The Great Leap
After my nervous walk with K, I dressed R in his racing stripes for a mountain bike ride. He wore a full blaze orange vest because he was going to be off-leash. In contrast, K was tied to me, the Great Pumpkin, so she wore only a bandanna. I chose trails to ride where I've never seen a hunter in a decade because it would be too far to haul out a kill. Still, I was very vigilant, watching for fresh boot tracks or other signs of human presence.
We hauled ourselves up to Hug Hill where R modeled his racing stripes with an ominous Continental Divide behind him.
After R and I did a relatively short ride, I headed out on my own for some more riding. To my surprise, for 95% of my ride, I saw no one else, not even a hunter. But, at one point near the middle of my ride, I realized that I was following a trail of blood and fur, doubtless from a dead deer being hauled out of the forest. I tried not to focus on it and kept riding.
The clouds over the ridges mesmerized me.
Just so you know, I believe that most hunters are ethical and respectful. There's one grandfatherly hunter who I see every year during rifle season. In fact, I look forward to running into him because he knows many pearls of wisdom about nature that he imparts to me in our conversations. Moreover, he never forgets about the safety of others in the woods. I'm pretty sure that the vile act that I saw today would have made him as sick as it made me.