“We should have been paying closer attention. I should have known better, we are lucky to have made it out alive,” my friend said.
When Grace was 20 years old, her and her cousin Sean were riding horses along an Oregon trail, like any other summer afternoon.
A few miles in, the horses started acting skittish, but not so much so to take note. So they continued onward.
Suddenly, Grace’s horse decided, he’d had enough. The horse bucked her into the air, resulting in a crash landing, without hesitation, the horse took off running.
Sean immediately jumped off his horse’s back to see if she was okay and his horse was also, gone with the wind.
After Sean assisted her to stand, they look up simultaneously, only to be staring directly into a viciously, hungry cougars eyes.
This cougar was hunting for its next meal, they were the menus special that afternoon.
They slowly stood to their feet and took a deep breath, not knowing if it was going to be their last.
They knew what they needed to do.
“I stared that cougar dead in the eyes, and never lost eye contact after that moment.”
She said they walked backwards for miles. Downhill stepping over branches and roots in the ground, by this point I even have goosebumps from her retelling the story.
Walking backwards, I asked what was going through her mind while all of this was happening. All she said was “I wasn’t thinking of anything except staring this cougar down. If I look down, look away, turn my back, I will die.”
Grace was telling me about the cougars tendency to stalk their prey and how this feline friend was most likely tailing them for miles.
This explains the erratic behavior of the horses (note, horses will not protect me in the face of danger).
“This relentless cougar followed me to my front steps!” The cougar stalked them all the way home, it was snaking across her front lawn as they were walking backwards up the steps of the porch.
Not until they had the door closed behind them and were safe inside, did reality of the situation strike.
Grace vividly remembers her grandfather telling childhood stories, “we never thought it could happen to us. If he hadn’t I wouldn’t be here talking about this today”.”
Let this be a note to anyone hiking in the Oregon coast area to pay attention to their surroundings. Cougars don’t just attack out of nowhere. They will trail you, for a long time.
“These simple skills saved my live, and they could save yours.”
What to do if there’s a cougar.
**Disclaimer This is a true story, the name of the person who told me this story has been disguised for privacy reasons. Cougars are dangerous, don’t be caught in the dark people.This does not guarantee safety when you encounter a cougar. Every situation is different and unique. Dream Big Travel Wide and its affiliates is not responsible for any injuries, or fatalities when encountering a cougar. If you are attacked by a cougar seek immediate medical attention. If you choose to participate in these activities, you are doing so at your own risk.