Night Running

Back from camping and still have mountain-primed lungs, so during my run I was feeling the easy stride. It was like the way my body should work; like me minus all the asthma. I left at dusk and thought I had time before the real darkness set in, but man the sun hit that horizon hard and I was running in low-contrast grayscale. Snakes slithered away from my lightly patting feet, deer jumped away out of nowhere and I was starting to get a little freaked out. Then: Snorting and growling and it was coming towards me. “Bear” is what my straight-from-the-Smokies self thought, but I quickly saw it was two large dogs coming for me. Wolves? I was unsure, but the unspoken language was that they were genuinely after my blood. I didn’t scream, in fact, I don’t think I could replicate the sound I made. My body shot into some sort of crouch and I (embarrassing in hindsight) roared. It’s the only way to really describe the sound I made at those dogs. They sort of hovered around me for a bit and finally took off when rocks were lobbed at them. I come back from bear-infested mountains for this?

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