Yesterday the S.R.O. (Significant Russian Other) and I took a mountain-trail hike in the foggy wilderness of the Santa Monica mountains. A good three and a half hours, screaming calf muscles and half soaked by the mist. We began at Coldwater Canyon Park, went up Beverly Drive and took a right on Franklin Canyon Drive (which suddenly turns into the wilds of Colorado or Vietnam even) and then hung a sharp right south onto Lake Drive down to Franklin Canyon Park. The grand finale was a steep ascent of Hastain Trail, which eventually hooks up with Royalton Drive and then Coldwater Canyon Drive, and finally a 1.75 mile hike back to C.C. Park. The most exciting incident was coming upon fresh mud prints of a mid-sized animal — I compared Google images of puma and coyote prints and couldn’t decide which. We found a not-too-ripe apple lying on the path during the final third — it seemed like one of the most delicious apples I’ve ever bitten into in my entire life.

Halfway up Hastain Trail, north of Franklin Canyon Park. The misty fog was so dense it was like being in the middle of a cloud.

My first thought was that this paw print belonged to a mountain lion but maybe not — maybe a large coyote.