I notice the tracks as I return from a brief scouting trip. When deciding on a campsite for the night, reconnaissance is necessary: one, to verify personal safety; two, to ensure picturesque views and surroundings, but distance between neighbors (if applicable); and three, to establish an ideal bathroom situation. (Leave no trace, please.)
This particular survey satisfies one and three — I was returning from a number one break after the drive from Alta Lakes and Telluride when something catches my eye.
The “something” in this instance are animal tracks that run parallel to the dirt road we drove in on. I study them. There are multiple. Hooves and paws are apparent. Cattle makes sense. Horses, too. We know from Grant’s place in Sage Canyon that mountain lions have been recorded on their webcams up on the mesa property. And here we are on top of a mesa. A quick Google search suggests the paw prints could belong to mountain lions, and I’m relatively certain they are not bear tracks.