Its about 1:00am and I am currently in my tent enduring a wind storm.
Since i wont be sleeping, I thought what better time to write in my journal:

This section was rather interesting!
The landscape slowly changes again to dry granite rock, with more earthy tones of rustic reds, oranges and sandy hues..

I love generous people & people with a sense of humour!

Randomly, in the middle of the desert (the middle of nowhere) I hike past the back of someones ranch. You notice a surfboard stuck into the sand. It's at the 145.37 mile mark. There's also a table with two chairs and a homemade bookshelf full of books.
On the front glass window there's a sticker that reads:

Books you don't need,
In a place you can't find!

They also have a small water cache as there's a lack of water through the desert as you could imagine.


In the following days we come across some exotic creatures,

When nature takes its course..
We head off trail dig a hole, relieve ourselves, fill in the hole and carry-on..

Leaving no trace!

My current travel companion pulled off to the side and while digging his hole came across this giant scorpion which he accidentally severed, as it was in the sand.

I was waiting up ahead, filtering water from a tank and having a snack when he appeared.
He wanted to play a prank on the couple behind us...

So I suggested we place the scorpion (dead) on the shut off valve to the water source. :)
And propped him up in a defensive attack-pose.


We got a couple squeals out of it!!!


On my travels, I have seen an incredible amount of animals and creatures of all sizes.
Yet one remained unseen,
They often say that if you see it.. It's too late!

I was night hiking and starting to descend down a dry, rocky rugged mountain in the dark night.. the batteries in my head lamp were dying..

As I turned the large rocky corner, my failing headlamp met two eyes right in front of me!    This time they weren't green! (which are usually deer)

I knew exactly what it was...

The elusive beast...

Sure enough when I shone my light lower, I could make out his claws dug into the dry soil, crouched, in a stalking position, moving towards me. Then he stopped and stood up...

I shined my failing beam away briefly... to see how he'd respond... then shined my beam back again...
And when I did.. The muscular predator was in a stalking pose now even closer, advancing towards me..

I quickly turned to give my lagging buddy a heads up what was in front of me.

At this point, with all my animal interactions. I know that animals especially predators senses are far more receptive than humans. They sense fear, dominance (and lack of) in their competition and their potential prey.

My rationale was:
If I turn back or show weakness, he's going to attack and leap on me.                                        If I'm going to have a show down with a cougar on the side of a cliff in the dark, either we are going to war, or its getting out of my way! 

(Plus, I'm pretty determined to get to the Mexican Border at this point!!)

I pull out my knife and march right at the Mountain Lion...