Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi

How I Roll, Sort of


dog on ski trails

Have to have a Kobi photo

I had to take a quick trip south earlier this week, only about 1000 miles south, but everything is that far away from here.

Of course I had to squeeze some running in as I was in a pretty cool rural area and it was only a balmy -5C.  I headed down the road and after a few minutes spotted a snowmobile trail heading into the woods. When it comes to me and trails, it’s kind of like flies on poop, I just gotta check it out.

snowmobile trail

The trail I found

First I stopped to take a photo of the signs at the trail and noticed I was standing on a cattle guard (aka cattle stop, cattle grid, Texas gate, livestock guard). I was totally distracted taking photos and walked backwards over the cattle guard not really paying attention.

I quickly learned that caution should be applied when walking backwards over cattle guards in the snow. It appeared that the snow was packed to the top of the guard, thanks to the snowmobile tracks, but it wasn’t, it was actually hollow underneath. As a result of this illusion, I stepped between the parallel bars of very hard steel and proceed to fall through.

You know that moment when you suddenly realize you aren’t on a solid surface anymore and you’re falling, I had that moment. Then of course the first thought through my head (the one that always presents itself when free-falling) was, “this is going to hurt”.

Cattle guard

See how it looks like the snow goes to the top, but really doesn’t.

I fell between the steel bars and landed smack on my butt. It didn’t hurt!  I then did what I always do after a fall, a quick scan to see who saw. No one fortunately.

I did smack my shin pretty good trying to get my leg out from between the steel bars.  I shook it off and assessed the damage, nothing was broken so I proceeded to start trotting along the trail happier than a fly on poop again.

Then that little smarty-pants voice in my head spoke up and reminded me I was in the thick of mountain lion country and it’s winter when mountain lions are the hungriest. Nothing scares me more than mountain lions, well maybe velociraptors, but thankfully those are extinct (although they still scare me).

trail in the winter

About when I started thinking about mountain lions

I had no safety gear with me, no Kobi my fearless protector, and my cell phone was now dead thanks to my cold weather photography obsession with a battery that only had 20% left on it when I left the warm house.

Long story short, I got a little turned around, ended up doubling back and eventually made it back to the cattle guard and the road without getting mauled by a mountain lion or breaking a leg. Phew.

I stuck to the road after that and had an uneventful but enjoyable run. Lessons learned, don’t step between the metal bars of cattle guards in the snow and don’t run in mountain lion country without at least a cell phone that works.

Ever had a run-in with a cattle guard or are you smarter than that?

Author: Angie

I live in northern British Columbia, Canada. I found my dog Kobi in 2011 when she was only 5 weeks old and we've been having running adventures ever since.

22 thoughts on “How I Roll, Sort of

  1. Wonderful photos, seems like a challenging but rewarding run.

  2. Ow. Glad you weren’t seriously injured. NYC doesn’t have cattle guards. I wish they had tourist guards. That would be useful.

    • That’s funny about tourist guards!!There aren’t cattle guards up where I live either as we don’t have many cow ranches. Likely why I wasn’t really being cautious around it. I was lucky I fell how I did as it could have been a lot worse.

  3. The fact that this can be described as both balmy and urban is amazing and so bad ass. So glad you arent injured or malled!

  4. OMG Kobi makes “triangle mouth, too”… It’s my dogs “serious face” and it melts my heart.
    That aside, I can totally understand that pull of checking out new trails whenever you get a chance… However, sorry it ended up so haphazardly for you. I’m glad you didn’t get broken or eaten. 🙂 sounds like a fantastic weekend get away! Have an awesome week!

    • That’s actually a serious face fir Kobi too! Very cute. I’ll be far better prepared for trail exploring next time. It’s always a good run when you don’t get broken or eaten! Have a great week too!!

  5. Wow, that looks crazy! Glad you enjoyed the trip and didn’t get eaten.

  6. Had no idea what a cattle guard even is 😀

    You live in a beautiful place!

  7. Glad you didn’t get hurt! No cattle guards around where I am, but once, during a run in Ireland, I did jump a fence to find rail lines that I was told to look for and follow to a ghost town, only to find out that I jumped the rock fence and to get chased back to the fence by a very angry ram… And after shuffling over the fence at record climb, I reached the road and turned just in time to see the goat push the fence open…because it wasn’t actually secured….

  8. An amazing adventure Angie. It would be eerie being in mountain lion country. I have heard that they could be watching a person, and that person would not be aware of it.

    I think they are the same cat, in Ontario we call them cougars (guess there are no mountains around). Pretty much non existent in my area, further north the Ministry of Natural Resources has reintroduced them. Am curious if they do come down into my region, like the bears have done in this past generation.

    I am so glad you were okay from the fall, and no serious injury! 🙂


    • I’ve also heard you do t know when a cougar is checking you out. We supposedly have them way up north here too but I’ve never seen one. Hope it stays that way. I do hope the large cats don’t come down into your region. They are very stealth like creatures.

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