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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Mountain Lion, Lost Dog, Trail Angels and a 2014 Used Sue Bee...FSBO

This Morning, Bobbie reminded me of an important omission in yesterday's post...

Zooming along in a crouched position, feet on the on the pedals, kicking up the ole adrenaline drip on a curvy, downhill section of Honeybee, a mountain lion bolted across my path. With ears laid back and a long tail stretched out behind, I had a good three seconds to take it in. Wow. Don't see that every day! 

Water flows in almost every wash this year

After Honeybee, on a cloudy cool day, we attempted a long loop-hike up through the foothills of Catalina Mountain. Of course we zigged when we should of zagged and ended up doing a short loop-hike instead. Let's just say they could use some signage because there are unmarked trails going off in all directions several times per mile. 

Being firm believers that there's no such thing as a bad hike, we're Ok with that. After all, the whole point is to get outdoors in nature and move. Disappointment soon dissolved into who cares. Happiness, we're told, is a choice. It's all about attitude...Life is good, all's well that ends well...you know, all that Dwayne Dryer shit.

It was a tough light day so don't expect great photos. Bad light and all, my love affair with boulders was not tempered in the least by skim mild clouds. I absolutely love wandering through these kinds of landscapes. The sights, sounds and smells remind of growing up around here.

After a couple hours of seeing no one, we stumbled across three Trail Angels on horseback. The lead guy had a pair of pruning clippers in his rifle scabbard. They were trimming back cactus and wait-a-minute bush growth from the trail when we arrived. How nice. I thanked them for their efforts.

"Trail Angel"

Since our big loop-hike got cut in half, we decided to add some miles on a minor trail that followed a fence line. It had no bike tracks, and it didn't take long to understand why. Rough! 

Topping a rise between washes, a mile or so in, I came face to face with a dog. She was extremely shy, had cactus in her coat and was limping a front paw. I knelt down and coaxed her to me. Poor thing; she was pretty gaunt in the hindquarters and in a bad way...whimpering. Our hearts instantly went out to her. 

Bobbie set about picking off cactus needles and checked her bad paw out while I called a phone number on her collar. The call went to some lady in New Mexico, and I explained the situation and where we were.

She explained that the dog was given to a cowboy friend who lived in that area, and this was not the first call she had received. Seems the dog is an escape artist. She gave us the cowboy's number and we call it. 

Bobbie explained to cowboy that we had his dog and asked how we could go about returning it. He asked where we were and she told him, as best as possible, anyway, given we frequently don't know where we are.

When Bobbie told him the road we were boondocked off of he realized we were in the same area. After a long back and forth conversation, he asked if we could see a red pickup back up toward the trailhead. Sure enough, there it was. Turns out he and a few friends were out on horseback looking for the dog. It had been missing for three days. He told us he'd start down and we told him we'd start up.  

Three days? Poor girl had to be hungry. I pulled a granola bar from my pack, broke it in small pieces and watched as she gobbled it down. Suddenly, I had a new best friend. She let me know she wanted "more granola bar." 

We had no leash and the cowboy mentioned that he was afraid she might run off again.  "Not as long as I have granola bars,"  I told him.  Still, just to be sure, I pulled out the only thing I could find in my pack that would serve as a leash: my best wool sweater.

The reunion was magnificent; mutual love was in the air. Cowboy removed the "leash," she wasn't going anywhere.

Since this situation took a while to reconcile, Bobbie and I decided to bag it and head for camp. 

On the way home we both wondered out loud if maybe sometimes there's a reason or purpose behind "mechanical delays" or "getting lost." I mean, if we hadn't had so much trouble on our bike ride, I would have missed seeing that mountain lion zoom across my path. If we hadn't got lost today, that poor dog might still be out there...tired, hurt, lonely, hungry...a next meal for that same mountain lion.  

Coming home!

And Finally...
It turns out we ordered a new Subaru Forester in Tucson. I blame my son, Caleb, and Daughter-in-law, Kelli. 

You see, they have a Subaru Forester too, but it has something we didn't know we needed called "X Mode." While we were home in December and January, during blizzard after blizzard, we noticed they had no difficulty getting up our driveway... in any conditions... while we were getting stuck and having to pull Sue Bee up with the chained-up snowplow. Both vehicles have the same motor, the same transmission, All-Wheel-Drive, and so on...with one single exception: "X Mode." We didn't have X Mode. 

So I decided that I (and especially Bobbie) need X Mode. It's a low-range option that better distributes traction to all four wheels at slower speeds (under 17 mph). As soon as one wheel begins to slip the "load" transfers power to one that has better traction. So our new Forester will have X Mode. No more careening down the driveway backwards! No more phone calls, "Mark, I'm stuck."

Thus, if you or any one you know needs a one owner, like new 2014 Subaru Forester with All Wheel Drive, never-been-wrecked, only 73,000 miles, let us know. It is CLEAN, and has a lot of miles left in her. We will be hanging in the Tucson area well into March. I have it on Craigs List @ $14,850, but for a reader, well, We'd knock off a bunch more :). See photos below...
mark and bobbie    


  1. Great trail story. So glad you were able to find the pup before the lion did. Mountain lions are really the only wildlife I'm truly nervewracked by in hiking. Wish i had the funds for that car! Subs really are the best all around. Question, how are you still getting google/blogger comments? Did you hear they are removing google plus? My comments were all deleted!

    1. Yeah...lot of brand loyalty here :).
      I'm not sure Blogger comments are affected like Google comments. Everything still works. If they pull the plug on Blogger comments, I'm over and done with blogging! Just too little reward for effort and time to not be able to interact...
      Hope you are going to make it to Moab in April. Could be snowing this year :(
      mark and bobbie

  2. So glad it all came together as it did, dog and all. What serendipity. Lucky dog. Lucky you that that mountain lion was moving fast in front of you and not stalking you. I only saw mountain lions twice in all my years alone in the field in soil survey, both times they were streaking across the trail in front of me, the tail as long and lithe as the cat. Talk about an adrenaline rush! Congrats on all of it.

  3. Awe your folks did good by you, they new what they were doing :)
    Of course Bobbie is the lucky one now :)
    Keep on hiking & biking, but maybe you should carry a nice size rock in or attached to your bike in case one of those mountain lions jumps you, & Bobbie too.
    Stay Safe......& thirsty

    1. Agree about the rock, did you hear about the guy a couple weeks ago who battled a mountain lion and grabbed a rock nearby and hit it on the head, momentarily stunning the cat? Stunned the cat enough to crush its windpipe, and this cat had the guy wrapped in its paws and hindquarters, too. Mark and Bobbie, glad it all turned out to be a happy story instead of a sad one.

    2. Yes we saw an interview with him on tv. He was pretty scratched up!
      Scary stuff.

  4. How cool to see a mountain lion! That's one critter that has evaded us so far. Though I'd sure not like to see one too close up!

  5. I’ve thought of that too, maybe there’s a reason for those “delays” or “wrong turns” we make. At least the idea can make them less frustrating. I really like those boulder areas too, gives the landscape more character. And Sue Bee...she served you well, but X mode sounds like the way to go. Chris

  6. I'm happy you were able to rescue that sweet dog. The owner needs to do a better job of keeping it from running away, though.
    Jim is worried that spending money on a new Subaru will keep you from buying our Lazy Daze ;-)

    1. But it won't get sold cause you won't let him :) We've been waiting three years, now. I think you are going to bury him in that L D box...
      But he might just outlive you just to be ornery :)

  7. You were very lucky to see a mountain lion in person! Wow! And I'm so glad that you found that dog... it sounds like she needed help, and you were the good people who gave it to her!


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