Sunday, November 19, 2006
Over here at Twin Sisters we have regular mountain lion presence as well. Tracks mainly, but also, scat and occaisional sightings and even one encounter.
Roz came home around midnight a few years ago, to find that a mountain lion had treed a racoon or something right in our parking lot. It was roaring, and stayed at the base of the tree forat least a half an hour. A thrilling basso profundo roar, a bit like the Metro Goldwin lion. I was listening out the upstairs window. Roz stayed put in her car. Finally, a long time after the lion stopped roaring, Roz made a dash for the house.
Another time I was gazing idly out the bedroom window at the meadow in the moonlight, 10 pm or so, when suddenly one, then two more deer came tearing across the meadow, east to west, just above the garden, followed immediately by the long, low to the ground outline of a mountain lion, long tail out behind. The whole group was moving at top top speed, the lion maybe thirty yards behind the three deer. Just past the garden the deer cut an impossibly abrupt left turn, downhill, which the lion matched as best he could, (I think he lost some ground to them), then the whole show disappered down below our barn, and that was the last I saw of them. The whole thing was in complete silence. I found a few tracks in the morning, to confirm I hadn't been dreaming, but I am a very lazy tracker, easily bored, so I didn't try to map it all out.
Anyway, we see tracks, every year a handful or so of times up on Twin Sisters. Most recently, ten days ago in one of the fresh snows.
The Antidote to Lions. Roz and I gradually became a little uncomfortable about this definite presence of lions, particularly since we often hike alone, and at dusk. So we have taken to sometimes carrying a super potent can of pepper spray with us. My limited research on this subject leads me to believe that this pepper spray is the best thing you can do for yourself in case of a real life lion encounter. I think this is the consensus among wildlife biologists as well.
The spray was designed as an antidote to grizzly bears, and is used most frequently in Alaska, where almost everyone carries it in the back country. You can buy it at McGuckins for about $40 a can.
VDAP Pepper Power- Bear Deterrent.
Of course it would be useless if you were surprised in an ambush, and it could be counter productive if there was significant wind moving agaInst you. But in a lot of mt lion encounters, wind isn't a problem, and there's plenty of time to get organized to defend yourself. In such cases the spray could make a real difference.
I find it sort of comforting to have along in a back pocket, whenever I think to bring it. And as for muggers, gangs, or maurauding packs of wild dogs or wolves, you're covered.
Well, that's the news from Twin Sisters, John & Roz McClellan
Saturday, November 18, 2006
On Mountain Lions.....thank you, Yvonne, on the update from Colleen,
I have been seeing signs of lions in this area for several years...
tracks, scat and kill signs. I have frequently seen their scat along 68
and Cumberland, as well as up around Forsythe and the elk trails through
the woods near Winiger. Two years ago I watched a lion as it walked
through the woods by my studio on a bright, spring afternoon. Beautiful.
Females can breed any time of year....having no set season. Although
they can roam very large distances, they tend to hang around when there
is ample food (resident deer, elk....even an occassional bobcat, raccoon,
rabbit, mouse, or ground squirrel). They are known to hunt during
anytime of the day or night, tending to ambush their prey and therefore
preferring lots of brush or rock outcroppings for cover. When I am out
hiking in these types of areas, I just try to remember to be extra aware.
They do not like to associate with other lions (except for mating), and
are very territorial, I think it would be unusual if there is more than
this one in the area.....at least on most occassions.
I feel so fortunate to live in an area where lions co-exist alongside
me......with so many of Nature's predators being villified and destroyed,
I remain somewhat hopeful whenever I am reminded of their presence here.
On Fri, 17 Nov 2006 14:21:22 -0700 George Blakey <email@example.com>
> Hi all,
> Colleen Canon wanted me to send out an email just to let neighbors
> that in our area of Aspen Meadows and down 68, she has been seeing a
> very large lion that usually doesn't hang around here. As they are
> all the time it is good to be aware and not paranoid about this.
> She has seen it at her house around 6:30 P.M. and said that one of
> horses has been trying to dig it's way out of the enclosure down in
> lower meadow, she will be leaving it free for now.
> She thinks that since West Magnolia has been closed to the hunters
> year and that there has been a lot of killing of deer/elk? up behind
> that the lion may have been drawn by the smell, also don't know when
> their mating season is, but that could be an affect as well.
> Just a heads up for those who enjoy a walk in the evening.
> Yvonne Short
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Turns out that they caught two guys yesterday. My guess is that they are not
the ones actually doing the break-in (that was a man and woman), but were
hauling away the loot.
Let's hope that puts the fear of the law in the other two, or even better,
the first two roll over on the second two.
~ the chart guy
John Carder, CMT
Topline Investment Graphics
Where your chart dreams come true!
www.topline-charts.com or www.chartguy.com
PO Box 2340
Boulder, CO 80306-2340 USA
800.347.0157 (toll-free in the USA)
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I'm certainly not one of the slowest drivers on Magnolia, but I have to say that I love seeing runners up here...it reminds me that we live in a place that lots of people appreciate...and I have no problem at all getting down to 10 MPH before getting particularly close to them (not just to avoid hitting them but to avoid getting a lot of dust in their eyes.)
As for the school bus, my couple of experiences with it (I usually go to work before it's around) did involve fairly long waits behind it, but the driver was very good about pulling over to the side for me and others to pass very shortly after all the kids had boarded.
Other than the dust issues, I don't think it's particularly hard for us all to use Magnolia, on foot, or bike, in car or bus.
Also, as many of you know I'm quite politically active (maybe not in directions you all agree with.) I don't want to start a political discussion on this news group, but I would like to ask you, if you're interested, to take a look at my blog at http://www.rossputin.com and have a read about my voting recommendations/endorsements. My guess, assuming something about the politics of most Magnolia residents, is that the typical PUMA reader will disagree with something more than half of my suggestions and agree with something less than half. If you go to http://www.rossputin.com and click on the "Colorado Issues" category (scroll down a bit to see the categories below the calendar), you can start with the 10/31 posting and work back up from there. Even if you disagree with me, I hope you'll find my discussion and analysis interesting. I have written an endorsement or suggestion for every state-wide position, Referendum, and proposed Constitutional amendment. I have not written anything on individual State House or State Senate seats or local (county or city) ballot measures.
I would just like to mention that Mark Hillman, running for State Treasurer, is a good friend of mine, an incredibly solid person, talented and conscientious and experienced in dealing with and balancing state budgets, and (not that it matters for Treasurer) much more live-and-let-live on social issues than one would expect from a Republican these days. Maybe it's because he's a farmer by trade. I hope that those of you who typically do not vote Republican will consider a vote for Mark. (Tomorrow I'll have a piece on my blog about more specific reasons to vote for him, though I already have much of that in the 10./31 candidate endorsement posting.)
Beyond that I will hope that you read my blog and I would be happy to discuss politics or issues or candidates with any of you in a private email conversation if you're interested.
Have a great Sunday, everyone!
Terry Greenberg wrote:
I agree. I even run or perhaps its called "woddle" on Magnolia and love it. I have even put my dog on a leash and we run single file and I love running with the champions, for a split second. That's great. I never ever mind the runners on Magnolia and happily slow down for them too. And I think running on the dirt has allowed my knees to keep on keeping on just fine. Yay Magnolia.
At 07:56 AM 11/3/2006, Kevin Seeman wrote:
As an avid runner who used to train for speed, I have at least a partial explanation for the elite presence on Magnolia as opposed to our vast trail system. Access is a huge part of it, as the coaches can stage in Boulder and have their team stretched, warm and ready to run in 30 min. Of course, they want to run at altitude to maximize their training. Magnolia is ideal because they can set up any number of training routines, including timed speed work, time trials, tempo runs.... And while it may be dangerous as far as traffic, it offers perfect footing. You get to run on dirt without the variables of the trail (roots, rocks...), it is well maintained, snow is removed quickly, it dries out rapidly. Coaches can drive along with their team to offer support and watch their runners' form. And for the runners, it helps to train with your team, running along with your partners, helping each other through rigorous training sessions, as opposed to being strung and scattered along a trail.
I run and bike on Magnolia with my wife every week year round. I also commute to the flats every day. In my opinion, we all have to share the road, and it is ultimately the drivers' responsibility to be aware, cautious and safe. I love seeing the Olympians running our beautiful road, even if I do have to slow to a crawl to pass a pack.
From: Craig Irwin <Craig.Irwin@sun.com>
Reply-To: Craig Irwin <Craig.Irwin@sun.com>
To: Allen Gordon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: Fay <email@example.com>, "'PUMA News'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [puma-news] Re: Magnolia mentioned in NY Times article
Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2006 08:25:46 -0700
It is neat that Magnolia got some NY Times press.
We need to consider how PUMA will advise or improve upon the following
Here is the real daily scenario: (keeping in mind that all users of the
road believe that they have a 'right' to use the road.
Parents drive the car with kids up to the bus stop, any School bus stop
on Magnolia Road, approx 8 cars pulled over on the side of the road
waiting on the bus.
* Inbound to the same location from the east, (just around a blind
corner) is a group of 14 road runners, running four abreast on the road
in the middle of the road with no concern nor awareness of other users
of the same road.
* Inbound to the same location from the west, one driver with one hand
on the cell phone the other hand occasionally juggling hot coffee,
running late to an appointment, headed around a blind corner converging
on the school bus stop at 40+mph. This driver will be forced into the
oncoming traffic lanes so as to avoid the cars and people pulled out at
the bus stop.
* Also eastbound is a Lumber Truck loaded with a delivery, driver has
been patiently waiting to pass the Japanese running team for two miles
and is now ready to make his move. He too will be forced into oncoming
traffic lanes as he approaches a corner.
What happens next?!
Really this is not a case of 'who is right?' nor 'who is wrong?'. Sure,
the cell phone driver is acting irresponsibly, but thus far, we have
been unable to eliminate the irresponsible members of society, so we
must accept their presence.
This is a case of competing multiple uses where each individual is
equally responsible for their actions.
While county planning has obviously not occurred in order to create a
safe spot for School Bus pickups, perhaps communication to the runners
that Boulder County has hundreds of miles of well maintained trails
ready for their use might be a good start. Why run on a busy road when
you have unlimited trails to run on?
The road runners are clearly not coherent as to the risks that they are
shifting to the other road users when they run in any form other than
I truly hope that this situation does not end in a fatality, but rather
the community will come together to creatively solve this situation by
way of education and safe behaviors.
The older I get, the slower I drive.
Allen Gordon wrote On 10/31/06 07:25,:
Having run on Magnolia, the crown of the road makes it difficult to run
on the sides--the slope of the road twists the ankles. Additionally,
I've found that when approaching a blind curve, running on the inside of
the curve can be dangerous because of the lack of visibility--thus
making it safer to run with the traffic if that side is on the outside
of the curve. Finally, I think there is a bit more traffic in Boulder
than on Magnolia Rd. Perhaps the larger problem is how people drive on
Magnolia Rd, not how people run. One problem that I've noticed is that
people stop their cars in very inopportune places during times when kids
are picked up for school. For example, many folks wait in their stopped
cars at the top of the hill at Magnolia and Frontier in front of the
mail boxes. Cars attempting to pass them have to drive blindly on the
wrong side of the road not knowing if another car is approaching on the
other side of the hill. Similarly at Pine Glade and Magnolia. Cars are
stopped such that cars coming from Pine Glade onto Magnolia must do so
with very limited visibility of approaching cars. Of course there are
many who drive pretty fast exceeding the 30 mph speed limit. Those darn
runners make it difficult to drive fast because they are either running
in the middle of the road, on the wrong side or side by side.
Now if they could only learn to run against traffic, single file, and on the
side (as opposed to the middle) of the road, they would all live long enough
to compete! Funny, same rules they follow in Boulder but don't seem to
apply up here.
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Greg Ching
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 1:30 AM
To: PUMA News
Subject: [puma-news] Magnolia mentioned in NY Times article
I think most Magnolia residents know we have world class athletes
training on our road but it's still neat to see Magnolia mentioned in
the NY Times. The complete article can be found at
I'm only copying here the first few paragraphs...Magnolia mentioned in
October 31, 2006
In Boulder, Runners Gather in Guarded Isolation
By LIZ ROBBINS
BOULDER, Colo. - Here at 5,430 feet, all roads lead to a finish line
somewhere. They just rarely converge.
As the major marathon season hit its fall peak, professional distance
runners from Kenya, Japan, Romania and Tanzania, as well as the United
States, were pounding the dirt roads in Boulder for a high-altitude boost.
Long a popular haven for elite athletes, the area boasts 300 sunny days
a year, 400 miles of trails (including Magnolia, which soars to 8,600
feet), more massage therapists than muscles and a fervent outdoor culture.
But this is no running utopia. Instead, Boulder is an example of the
fiercely competitive sport of road racing, in which runners train in
quiet isolation, passing one another occasionally on hills while
guarding their strategies.
Competitors from around the world may come here, yet the various camps
operate in their own universes. With schedules dictated by agents,
runners compete not just for the podium, but for a relatively small pool
of resources, shoe contracts and race appearance fees. It is a scene
that is more clannish than collegial.