I am back home to WI. Although my father is still making fun of me for this story that I emailed him yesterday, I felt it may be good to share the laugh.
I had wanted to experience one of Phoenix's parks before I left so yesterday morning, I got up at 5:45 and caught a bus to South Mountain park, the nation's largest urban park, mainly b/c it was the closest one accessible to public transportation. I had to ride a bus as far south as the route went and then walk 1/2mile to the park's entrance.
Admittedly it was pretty early but from the website reviews that I had read, the park gets pretty busy, even though it is HUGE.
As i walked along the road to get to the park, the smell of horses in the air, I did not see a single person. In addition to complaints that the park sometimes got too busy, the website stated to watch out for coyotes and rattlesnakes. Yeah. The nation's largest urban park. Like i'm going to have a problem with that. We had the same warning in Austin, Texas at the wildflower center and saw nothing.
I began walking one of the trails. Still no people. Not even attendants at the park's entrance. Although this is an "urban park" it is ENORMOUS and you really feel like you are in the middle of this beautiful mountainous desert region. I was walking along the trail, watching the sun come up and taking some pictures when I kid you not a coyote walked across the trail in front of me. HOLY SH*#. My adrenaline kicked in and I was thinking "now what? do coyote's eat people? is it going to come after me? should i try to stay quiet or make a lot of noise?" to my knowledge, Baer Gryls did not cover this in his man vs wild show! And really to be honest, the most i had heard of coyote's were from my 2 1/2 year old niece, who wanted to eat one at dairy queen.
I turned around and BOOKED it back toward where I came from. STILL no people! I turned around and there was my coyote..watching me walk away.
Obviously i made it out of the park fine without a coyote attack, but i was happy to return to the urban portion of the city! Turns out, I really had nothing to worry about, although I'm sure my family will be making funny of me for years to come with this one.