Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In the Wilderness

One of the things I've learned, while watching shows on Tru TV (not talking about Wipeout here), is to always expect the unexpected when it concerns wildlife. For example, I watched a docudrama about a lady who went to one of those swim with the dolphin events in the carribean and the dolphin ended up grabbing the lady's leg and pulling her under. With that, I've come directly into contact with the local wildlife over the last month or so.

Experience #1
Around three or four weeks ago, I went to my favorite beach,Sunset Beach, to partake in some long awaited body boarding. I was out in the water waiting for some waves when I looked up the coast about 100 feet to some surfers who were going crazy for some dolphins that were coming near shore for some fish and playing in the waves. They came pretty close to me, maybe about 30 feet at least, but I decided to paddle in a bit to get out of their way. They stayed around for a bit but ended taking off for greener pastures. That was actually my first time seeing dolphins in that area and it was indeed pretty cool.

Experience #2
I seem to have gotten the bug and really enjoy hiking the trail to the Bridge to Nowhere. The trail goes right through the Sheep Mountain Wilderness. The first few trips through, I didn't see a single mountain sheep and I assumed it was a BS ploy. My fourth time up was on a rainy/drizzly day and when I was taking my mid hike break at the bridge, I actually saw a group of about 7 or 8 sheep walking on the hill just to the south! I wondered if I would be able to get a better view of the sheep in the future because they look pretty interesting.

This last weekend when I took the trail, I walked the majority of the trail with a guy who commonly prospects on the east fork of the San Gabriel River. He was telling me that the sheep are actually very common sights but most people are looking down at the trail instead of looking up and seeing the awesome sights. We parted at about the four and a half mile point and I continued to the bridge and a nice half hour break and watched the bungee jumping instructor setting up the rig for the morning jumpers. I then started back to the trail head and got about 5 minutes away when I heard a rustling in a bush about 10 feet away from me next to the trail. I grew a tad concerned and I looked over in that direction and saw two more mountain sheep less than 20 feet away from me! They were running parallel to the trail  and trying to get up the side of the hill. I was sooooo close that I thought one of the sheep was going to charge straight at me and I'd be running my ass right back to the bridge.Whew! That was close!!

I hope I get the chance to see more wildlife out in the middle of their habitat. They are much more interesting out there than seeing them on a day trip to the LA Zoo.