No, I am not talking about people who make inappropriate comments on the internet.
I am talking about the large angry beings that live in caves, or deep in the woods, and generally hate us and maybe want to eat us.
They do too exist.
Let me start at the beginning...
Boyfriend and I decided to go for a little walk in the woods. Being in Colorado, this means that we were going for a 2,500 vertical foot, 6 mile one way climb up.
...just a relaxing walk in the woods...
"Where should we hike?" I asked boyfriend, "The Park, maybe?"
"Hmm," he replied, "It says here that there is a lot of ice on the road up to Bear Lake because of the storm last night."
"Yuck," I said, "Maybe not." I hate driving on good days, going up a narrow, curvy, slick road with big drop-offs was not my idea of fun.
We were quiet for a minute.
"What about..." I said, "Signal Mountain? I haven't been up there in years."
Signal Mountain is at the end of a dirt road that turns off a county road on the highway that heads into the mountains. It is only about 45 minutes from my house, and rarely has anyone on it. In the summer, the switchbacks up the west-facing hill are brutal, and it climbs something like 1000 feet in the first mile. This time of year, it should be pretty nice.
Once you get to the top of the ridge, it's a much gentler "up", and has nice views of the Divide to the west.
We packed up our backpacks and headed out.
|It was a fantastically beautiful day out. The chill in the air was just enough to keep us from overheating.|
|I believe this is a misprint. It should be "Bullwark's Ridge" because the troll's name is Bullwark, and this is his ridge. Obviously.|
"I always think this part of the trial is weird," I said.
Me: "It's so quiet. When M. and I climbed up here we got totally creeped out."
He didn't answer.
|I know, let's go for a walk in the scary woods.|
Our footsteps were muffled in the deep pine needles as we went, when I heard a strange noise.
It was the sound of something... big.
I froze, and looked back at Boyfriend. "Did you hear...?" he started to say, when something made a deep groaning noise.
"What the fuck was that?" I said.
"I don't know," he replied.
"Was it a bear?"
We both fell silent.
"MAYBE WE SHOULDN'T BE QUIET!" I said in a loud voice, "SO WHATEVER IT IS WILL GO AWAY."
"PROBABLY NOT A BAD IDEA," said Boyfriend.
"What should we do?" I asked.
We looked at eachother helplessly.
"If it can smell fear, I totally reek right now, I just started sweating like a pig."
We stood quiet for another moment, and then started up the trail.
Immediately, there was another thick noise from the woods.
"Shit," I said. "What is that?"
|It feels like there are eyes everywhere, watching you. Maybe the forest was awake. Or maybe there are trolls.|
I scanned the trees, my heart racing. They were too dense to see more than a few hundred feet. There could be anything out there.
We looked at each other and turned around and headed home.
There are other places to hike.
"Do you think it was trolls?" I asked.***
"YOU ARE NOT HELPING, LEAUXRA," he replied.
I fell silent. For about a minute.
"It's really quiet," I said, "I'll bet the other animals are afraid of the trolls."
"Is there a such a thing as wood trolls?" I asked.
"I don't know," he said, "I am not up on my troll lore."
"That probably pisses off the trolls, don't you think?"
I glanced behind me.
"STOP DOING THAT!" he said.
"I feel like something is looking at me, you know? Like eyes on me."
Boyfriend gave me an exasperated sigh.
|Obvious evidence of troll activity. Trees knocked down and strewn about. No, it wasn't the wind. It was trolls.|
"Check it out," I said, "Evidence."
Boyfriend looked at me.
"OBVIOUSLY, the troll got pissed and knocked down some trees."
Boyfriend didn't respond.
|A spectacular view through burnt trees.|
"Maybe we should get some bear spray," I said.
"Do you think that would help?"
"You're right, a troll would probably think it was seasoning, but it would make me feel braver if it was a bear."
"You know," he said, "It was probably just an elk or something. Remember when we climbed Ypsilon?"
"Huh," I said.
|We saw a grouse. No, it totally wasn't a mountain chicken that scared us.|
"Check it out. A grouse!"
Boyfriend said, "Never speak of this."
"Don't worry," I said, "I'll tell everyone that I hurt my knee or something."
"You're planning on blogging about this, aren't you," he said. It wasn't a question.
"It's why we hike," I replied, "So I have something to blog about."
So in the spirit of truthiness, I have to say... ahem...
"I hurt my knee while hiking, so we cut it short."
***Reason #45 why dating me is hard: I have an over active imagination and I share it. Sorry.