Date:August 30, 2007
King county, WA
Nearest town: Skykomish
Nearest road: Tonga Ridge Road
Conditions: Clear, warm
Location: Drive approx. 2 miles east of Skykomish on U.S. Highway 2, turn right on Foss River road, drive approx. 3.5 miles, turn left on Tonga Ridge road, drive approx. 1.5 miles to road closure, hike approx 1.5 miles up closed road.
Description of event: I was walking down the Tonga Ridge road back to my parked pickup. I had been forced to walk approximately 3.5 miles up the road earlier due to the road being closed because of flood damage. I had been picking wild huckleberries. It was almost (not quite) dark and I was walking quickly to get to my vehicle. I estimate I was about a mile and a half from my truck when I heard a very high and loud pitched cry/scream about 60 yards to my left and down the mountain in the trees. I stopped immediately and got completely quiet.
There was a very brief pause and then I heard it again except this time it trailed off in volume to a barely audible low growl/curdling sound and then died off completely. I immediately started to continue walking down the road at the same brisk pace as before. I did not run because I was concerned that it might trigger some sort of predatory response. When I had gone some distance and was within about .5 mile of my truck, I started to jog briskly. I reached my truck, got in and got out of there quickly. I did not hear the sound again. I speculate that it may have been a mountain lion but I have seen and heard them before (I have hiked the central and north Cascades all of my life) and this did not sound like a cougar. The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up as if some ancient, buried instinct was warning me of potential danger.
record updated:2007-08-31 18:55:03