A mountain lion traveled from South Dakota to New Haven, a distance of 2000 miles:
Biologists estimate the size of the mountain lion population at about 100,000 in North America, mostly living in western regions and seldom traveling more than 100 miles. It was the first confirmed wild mountain lion in Connecticut in more than 100 years…The lean, 140-pound male was killed June 11 when it was hit by a sport utility vehicle at night on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in the New Haven suburb of Milford.
Why the journey? Nobody knows. But maybe it wanted to see the coast.
And speaking of coasts and mountain lions, there this haunting ballad from my youth:
After I posted that, I was curious about the origins of the song (and especially how the girl got to be the jackpot in the card game), and I found that it’s based on this poem set in old Big Sur. Here’s how it went down, in the poem, which is more forthcoming than the song on the subject:
I sat in a card game at Jolon;
I played with a man there named Juan.
And after I’d won all his money
He said, “Your homestead ‘gainst my daughter, Dawn.”
I turned up the ace, I had won her!
My heart which was down at my feet
Jumped up to my throat in a hurry;
Like a young summer field she was sweet.
He opened the door to the kitchen;
He called the girl with a curse;
“Take her, God damn her, you won her!
She’s yours now for better or worse.”
A bit more research led me to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, who’s rather well-known for a somewhat more gruff rendition “South Coast.” I was stunned to learn something of his background on Wiki; it’s quite a story in itself (and no, this is not the Onion):
Elliot Charles Adnopoz [who became Ramblin' Jack Elliott] was born in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents in 1931. Elliott grew up inspired by the rodeos at Madison Square Garden, and wanted to be a cowboy. Though encouraged to follow his father’s example and become a surgeon, Elliott rebelled, running away from home at the age of 15 to join Col. Jim Eskew’s Rodeo, the only rodeo east of the Mississippi. They traveled throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. He was only with them for three months before his parents tracked him down and had him sent home, but Elliott was exposed to his first singing cowboy, Brahmer Rogers, a rodeo clown who played guitar and five-string banjo, sang songs, and recited poetry. Back home, Elliott taught himself guitar and started busking for a living. Eventually he got together with Woody Guthrie and stayed with him as an admirer and student.