I've told these stories on here before:
Once when I was about 20 years old, (back in the dinosaur days!), I was solo backpacking in the Cuyamaca Mtns. in San Diego County. I had no tent. I was awakened at about 3 a.m. by the most horrific screaming--sounded like a woman screaming in terror. Of course I was sure it was a mtn. lion. I had to pee really bad, too, but was afraid to get out of my bag, so I lay there with its hood pulled over my head, until dawn.
Once I was camping with a boyfriend in Jasper National Park up in Alberta. We were in a regular car campground. The ranger had said that if the resident bear came by we were to bang pans. Sure enough, during dinner we heard some pan banging going on from the other campsites, and along comes the bear. So we banged pans and yelled and it went away. Well....we had no tent, and we were traveling in a VW bug. We put our sleeping bags on the ground. Joe went right to sleep but I was not sleeping yet when I heard our neighbors banging pans again. I was a little scared but I lay there in my sleeping bag and waited. Pretty soon I heard this snuffling sound, and the sound of the bear's paws coming toward us. The bear came over to me. He snuffled my feet, he snuffled my torso and THEN he snuffled my FACE! I was of course, a bit petrified. I lay still as death. Then the bear went over and snuffled Joe. Joe was asleep so didn't notice. Then the bear went away, and I woke Joe up (never a smart move--he was a bit bearish himself) and he grumbled at me that since the bear didn't hurt us, what was there to worry about? "Go back to sleep," he said. Well...since the cooler full of food was in the backseat of the VW, I slept the rest of the night in the front seat!
Living in Arizona's White Mtns., which is where I live most of the time, I can echo most of Strand's wildlife viewings. In addition, in that area I have seen a mtn. lion, 2 mother bears, each with one cub, several other bears, numerous bobcats and foxes, lots of bald eagles, one golden eagle, and raccoons. The raccoons were high on my list of animals I wanted to see, because I had never seen one in Arizona. There are Rocky Mtn. bighorns along the Black River, and I have yet to see one! I have seen numerous desert bighorns near Tucson and in the Grand Canyon and Havasu Canyon. Have seen coatimundis, ringtails, javelinas, and all the other desert creatures. Gila monsters, too. On my wish list here in Yuma is the sidewinder--I have yet to see one in the wild.
The mtn. lion I saw on Christmas day, several years ago, in the White Mtns. was stalking a big herd of mule deer that reside at Wenima Wildlife area along the Little Colorado, about 3 miles out of Springerville. I have also seen a mtn. lion in the Chiricahuas.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
Steal your face right off your head!