No, That's Not A Twig
Some of the scariest moments for me on the trails have been encounters with those who live there.
On a run in the Santa Monica mountains near my home in Venice, California I came across a VERY BIG rattlesnake (10 rattles) coiled up and sunning itself on the singletrack trail I was on. There was no way to get by him and when I threw a rock to coax him off the trail, he didn’t budge. Since the trail hugged a steep hillside, there was nowhere to go but back which meant adding another two miles to my 18-mile run. Better than risking a rattler bite.
Another time, also in the same mountain range but that time on a bike, a rattlesnake I was passing by, what I thought was a wide margin, reared up and almost bite my foot/leg. I’m always looking out for those snakes and never thinking “it’s just a twig”.
Where The Buffalo Roam
I often visit Catalina Island where Buffalo encounters are common. One evening in the dark on my way back to my evening abode, I didn’t see the Buffalo on the edge of the trail until I was close enough to touch him - only his eyes were visible! I backed off but couldn’t resist taking a photo.
Another time on the island at a race, an old Buffalo was standing in the trail and when anyone made a move to pass him he’d charge. One runner did pass and was knocked down, her shorts were torn but she got up and finished the race!