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Saw my first local coyote out with kids tonite...

May 17, 2006

Martha went out for the evening with a friend, so I promptly took off for fun with the kids!

We were in the garage where I was showing them how to repair a flat tire on a bike when we heard dirtbike sounds in the distance. I said, "Let's go watch em race!" The kids got excited. I knew they were riding on a local backwoods race-course about a mile away, in a large vacant tract nestled between all the housing, where the kids had never been. We piled into the minivan and headed over.

Now, after a couple miles of road driving to the backside of the woodsy-fields area where the bikes were racing, we had to drive a half mile of 2-track to get to the course. We drove the pavement til I swung off onto the trail. The kids eyes got big. Then we started getting into water in the way. Then more water and deeper. I sped up the minivan til we were roarin'---but we made it thru. Their eyes were big again but they were cheering.

We drove closer to the roaring sounds until we were on the other side of a flooded ditch crossing. I parked. Here's where we get out, kiddies!" How will we cross? "Take off our shoes, how else?" So we got out and dismounted and waded across---I carried them thru the deep part. We hiked the soft trail barefoot. We passed the place where I shot the tom turkey a couple weeks ago. Then we got to the roaring racers. ---Just as they were packing up and pulling out. Rats!

Well, the kids loved seeing the soft-dirt course just the same and went running around it. They marveled at the huge marvelous jumps...and how the tire tracks started at one side...then ended...then started up again 20 yards later. Wow! We walked the big, complex, nifty course then waded back across and started driving the trail to home.

Suddenly in the distance in the brushy field I saw a deer-sized brown dog. A coyote! He ambled off to the side, giving me that sidelong look. Did I really see one? I stopped and jumped out onto the roof of the van. Nothing. Then, sure enough, there he went into the woods, a quarter mile off, but big, brown, loose-limbed wild dog he was! Cool! My first!

The kids were a bit bummed and wished they had seen it, too. I told them I'd take them back before sun-up sometime and we'd call one in and get a nice close look.

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