Until yesterday that is.
Living all of my thirty-two years in Southern California, of course, I have smelled skunk constantly over the years; people hit them with their cars on the freeways of the valley below us and on our winding mountain roads as well. I have heard the horror stories from friends after their animals have been sprayed. Recently friends have told me that there is a bad skunk problem in Crestline, which is half an hour across the mountain highway from me. They can be a real pain, especially when they forage under the decking of houses. Not many pest control services offer a humane trapping service, so I can see why no one wants to get rid of them. Sacramento Wildlife Services provides human trapping for skunk removal in Sacramento, El Dorado County, and Placer County including Orangevale, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Citrus Heights. Although they’re northern California, I would personally rather use a humane service compared to the alternative. I know they can be pests but if there is a safer way to remove them then that seems like the logical answer.
Even though Crestline seems to be infested, I had yet to see a skunk at all in any of my hikes or runs that I do on a daily bases.
Today I went on an evening hike on a rainy night to Seeley Creek in Crestline with a group of friends.
It had been a little rainy with thunderstorms beckoning for days and the mountain was lushly green in the little valley that is Crestline. It was such a gorgeous evening for a hike. The weather had to be in the low fifties, it was cloudy and looked like it would rain at any moment.
The overcast weather just made the plants seem more bright vibrant green and there were wildflowers, Indian Paint Brush and wild Lupine every where.
This trail we were taking ran along the edges of Camp Seeley where the last Parent Trap movie (With Lindsey Lohan before the drugs) was filmed. The trail takes you deep into a forest lined with oak trees and dogwoods just starting to bloom. Little mountain trout swim along in the cool waters of Seeley Creek. If you follow Seeley Creek down far enough you will reach Heart Rock.
Heart Rock is just that, a massive five by five foot heart shape cut into the rocky mountain pools. The water is kind of dirty and smelly, I mean the water in the actual heart is kind of stagnant, but still, heart rock makes for some cute pictures.
We toasted to our good friend who had joined us on today’s hike and who would be leaving us shortly to move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and enjoyed a beer on the creeks edge as the thunderheads moved closer.
It was such a absolutely gorgeous relaxing evening.
We finished up our beers and began the hike back out. Lexie’s little Golden Retriever Wiener Dog mix, Hank was running ahead of us on the deserted trail. It was such a easy relaxing hike with great friends.
Than it happened.
Up a head was the cutest fluffiest little black and white animal.
Oh shit, Hank was chasing it!
We all began screaming in the deserted forest, I just remember letting out a loud
“Nooooooo!!!!” as Hank made a beeline for the pretty fluffy skunk and the promise of a relaxing evening seemed to drift off in the incoming skunk cloud we were sure would soon be walking through.
Luckily, so very luckily, something in Hank’s little brain reminded him seconds before he reached the skunk, that he had been sprayed last summer… And the misery that had followed.
Hank stopped chasing the skunk; thank god, and we all relaxed and finished our hike without getting extremely smelly.