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Last night my daughter and I listened to Tales of Terror by The Dirtbag Diaries. It is, by far, my daughter's favorite annual episode. She gives this year's episode a 2 out of 3 on the terror scale. I scare easier than her, so I'm going to give it a 3. I had a hard time falling asleep and I'm going to be on edge the next time I get out for a run on the trails.

I'm trying to convince my daughter to write a story to send in for Tales of Terror, but I think she's still working on that. Instead, I'll tell one of my tales.

Creatures of the Tucson Desert

A few years ago I was on vacation in Tucson Arizona and went for a run in Sabino Canyon. The wide paved trail is popular with visitors and one that I have run countless time before. One mile up and the desert sun disappears behind the canyon walls. Another mile and the Tucson heat is quickly forgotten in the green oasis of Palo Verde trees growing next to Sabino creek. 

On the slow climb I cross a small bridge and see the mountain lion warning signs. As it is the southwest nearly every trail has these signs. There are probably more warning signs than there are sightings of lions, but sometimes seeing these signs plants the seed of possibility in your head. I continue up and come across some Arizona creatures, a snake enjoying the last moments of sun and a tarantula slowly creeping across the road. 

Another few minutes of jogging and I hear a deep growl coming out of the trees. In full on panic I freeze in the middle of the trail knowing that running can trigger a lion to chase. I scan the trees around me  but I don't see the lion. My heart is in my throat, I'm done for, where is the lion? A Palo Verde beetle flies right into my chest. 

The Palo Verde beetles are ugly, three inches long and look like large cockroaches with pincers. I didn't know that they flew or made a growling type noise while they fly. That was enough running for the day, I turned back around and found a family to hike back out with.

I told you I scare easy. Happy Halloween!

Tucson view from the Rincon Mountain range

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