I'm hiking. My parents know where I'm headed and when I'll be back. I have water and a rain jacket, first aid kit, whistle and pepper spray. In other words, I've done this before. Except, not alone. And dogs and horses don't count because they know more about the wild than us. In the last few days, a neighbor has seen a bear and my mom heard a mountain lion scream. I'm not used to hiking alone. And even though I maybe am within screaming distance of another human, I'm alone. And that gets me thinking. You can just soak in the environment, the birds and pines.... But you really have to pay attention to two things - not falling and not getting mauled. And they both need 100% of your attention, which means you're going to have a problem with one of them, eventually. So, I'm either going to become totally paranoid and not want to hike alone, or I'm going to get used to it, eventually. Gotta go. I hear something. . . Really. 20 minutes down the trail I did hear something. It sounded like huffing. Yeah, I cut that hike short.