New Meetup: "Taming Our Fears of Bears & Cougars" Hike

From: Margaret
Sent on: Monday, October 4, 2010 1:20 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Contemplative Hiking Along the Front Range!

What: "Taming Our Fears of Bears & Cougars" Hike

When: Tuesday, October 19,[masked]:00 PM

Where: South Mesa Trail
CO-170
Boulder, CO 80305

There are so many members who've told me that they are afraid of hiking alone because of their fear of black bears and cougars that I wanted to organize a contemplative, educational and cathartic activity to hike in a place that's sort of known for bear sightings: South Mesa to Shadow Canyon South and back to the Mesa Trail in Boulder. I've actually spotted a black bear in this area and spoke with several hikers on other occasions who reported to have seen him/her in the same location.

Black bear and cougar attacks, as opposed to sightings, are extremely (and I mean extremely!) rare along the Front Range. This hike will be about examining why we fear nature -- or specifically, large predators -- when in fact those animals fear us even more. We'll take a few minutes to stop and share our stories of encountering predators on hikes and how they've scurried off or went on their merry way. I'll read statistics that will make you feel better about your chances of encountering a dangerous predator. We'll start by going over common-sense precautions and ways to stay vigilant in case you're ever confronted by these animals on a hike. This hike will be about alleviating fears, not compounding or feeding them. Please, no "horror stories" from the media!

I did a research paper a couple of years ago on mountain lions in Boulder County and spoke with one of the country's top experts on mountain lion behavior, so I'll share what I learned about that.

The purpose of this hike is to help ease some of our unreasonable fears and cultivate a more healthy respect and appreciation for our furry neighbors in the woods.

Otherwise, we'll hike in silence and in a group and enjoy a late afternoon, scenic hike near Boulder. If you're not afraid of bears or cougars - GREAT - please come and enjoy the trail with us.

This will be a 2 hour hike, more or less. We want to get back before sunset. PLEASE NO DOGS.

DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD: Take Highway 93 from Golden or Boulder, turn west on CO-170, and go 1.7 miles to the South Mesa Trailhead. Park on the north side. You'll find me and my car (dark red Toyota FJ Cruiser) because I'll stick a little orange flag on the back window.

DONATION: I'm asking for a $1 suggested donation to offset the cost of MeetUp organizer fees and gas.

CANCELLATIONS: In case of cancellation of this hike, please check this website for last-minute messages from me. Call or text me if you need to change your RSVP to "no" at the last minute at 303.596.7230.

NOTE: Several of you have indicated an interest in purchasing my book, "Contemplative Hiking Along the Colorado Front Range" from me directly. I will bring some copies and you can buy them from me at the discounted price of $15. See www.ContemplativeHiking.com for more info.

RSVP to this Meetup:
http://www.meetup.com/Contemplative-Hiking-Along-the-Front-Range/calendar/14997733/

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