I went running with John this morning, 4 miles on the W&OD Trail from Bluemont eastwards, in 41:21. The new normal.
Half a mile out we ran under an elevated roadway, pretty much at stream level. That would be the Four-Mile Creek.
As we ran under the bridge, my attention was drawn to a fellow setting up a picture with his cell phone in the darkness. I'm a jerk who doesn't want to ruin other people's shots so I yelled, "Coming through!"
I should have been looking the entire scene over. I almost ran over a raccoon there on the roadway, that he was setting up a picture of.
That's not normal. Raccoons that don't shy from humans, that sit immobile while people are four feet away, are rabid in my humble estimation, and should be given wide berth.
I was glad I was able to skip over the immobile beast at the last moment and wasn't scratched or bit. I have no desire to go through a regime of rabies shots.
I wish the jerk setting up his shot hadn't been setting up passersbys for a month of painful shots because of his lack of understanding about situational awareness. As John and I emerged on the other side of the bridge, we called out to approaching runners, "There's a rabid raccoon on the trial under the bridge, be careful!"
Most runners were wearing headphones and didn't hear our warnings. It was a waste of breath on our part.
Coming back half an hour later, the same raccoon was there, sitting immobile in the middle of the trail under the bridge as a parade of humans passed by. This is an animal,, though docile appearing, I wanted to keep far away from as possible.
We got back to our starting point, Bluemont, and I went off to find the Park Ranger at that location but I couldn't find anyone there. So I called the Falls Church police non-emergency number on my cell phone, because that was the only emergency number I'd entered in it. (Bluemont is in Arlington.)
The woman who answered transferred me to the Arlington PD once I'd explained the situation. You know, like, if anyone gets bit by this thing there'd be a response by the Arlington emergency response of one or two dozen responders.
The Arlington PD weren't too interested in my report of a dangerous animal on the BUSY W&OD Trail. They transferred me to Animal Welfare which had a voicemail advising me they were closed directed me to leave a message which they'd access on Monday.
Losing interest in this Good Samaritan project, I called one last number, a number on the bulletin board there which directed me to call it to report anything on the trail. Somebody, in Reston, answered and tried to pawn me off on calling yet another number.
I said, "Please pass on the information about the dangerous animal squatting on the middle of the trail at milepost 3." "Will do," was the response.