Friday, July 10, 2009
As soon as we checked into the campground I went to the info center to inquire about running trails. Before getting there, I noticed warning signs everywhere about bears and even more signs about buffalo. I talked to the first ranger, and she said that if I enjoy running in meadows, there were some good trails nearby. Then she considered what she had just said and added something to the effect that there was a decent chance I might be pursued by something because I would look like running prey. Nice. She said that one buffalo a few weeks earlier had tried to gore a woman in a phone booth. She added that some runners get attacked every year. Nice. She said that she had been charged recently by a bear. Apparently all of the rangers are required to carry bear spray.
She then called in another ranger who she said was a runner. He said that a lot of the rangers don’t get as much exercise outside because of the dangers of being in bear and buffalo country. He said I might be okay close to the canyon because there were fewer bears and buffalo there. We kind of mapped out a route and I went to bed that night thinking I would get up early and put in 10 miles or so in the canyon area. As I went to bed, my spouse mentioned something to the effect that she was not wild about me being gored by a buffalo. I must admit that I am not wild about the idea either. When my alarm went off at 5:45am, I turned it off and went back to sleep. Yes, I wimped out in the face of possible de-bowelling by a bear or goring by a buffalo. I still feel bad about it. It would have been a good run. I know that because we hiked around the canyon later that morning and it was cool. Next time I come west, I will buy bear spray.