02 December 2008
Bill & I were coming home after a Utah canyoneering trip. I was driving Bill's Forerunner when this lion jumped in front of me. I didn't even have a chance to brake. After a lot of noises and bouncing lion, I could finally stop. We ran back up I-70 to check on the lion and pull if off the road if it was dead. Bill waved the flashlight to ward off traffic when I realized I didn't have the time to test the deadness factor. The traffic was scary close and scary fast. I grabbed the hind legs and pulled the sucker off the road. Luckily it didn't even raise it's head. What a beautiful animal! And oh my, the paws were huge.
Unfortunately this beautiful animal was going to cause us a lot of pain. This incident occurred on I-70 between Georgetown and the Eisenhower tunnel. We got back to the car and checked out the front end. Antifreeze was draining down the road. Much of the bumper and steel supporting structure was gone. The steering components and skid plate were also busted up. Of course I don't have a cell phone and Bill's ran out of juice as we were deciding who to call.
After 1/2 hour, a couple of state troopers pulled up, looked over the cat and took our story down. They also called a tow shop in Idaho Springs. The rest of the story involves the mysterious lost car key, the story of Idaho Springs resident, Scott Lancaster, who was killed by a lion back in 1991 and how the $5500 car damages will be paid for. I finally got home at 1:30am instead of 9:30pm.
Oh .. and to top it off ... on the way back to Boulder, I saw 2 more lions crossing the road North of the aggregate plant on Rt 93. In the last 9 years, I've seen 2 lions. Now in one night, I see 3 more lions. It was surely the NIGHT OF THE MOUNTAIN LIONS ...