Mountain Biking with Rattlesnakes

This afternoon while mountain biking down Big Cottonwood Creek, I passed an emphatic rattling sound.  I know other animals besides the rattlesnake mimic the rattlesnake’s sound, and I have heard them many times.  This, however, got me off my bike and walking back.  It was not hard to find because the moment I started walking back it started up on it’s rattle again.  It was about 4 feet off the trail.

This was the most intimate personal encounter I have ever had with a rattlesnake on my own.  It was and is an impressive creature.  I am SO VERY UPSET that I didn’t think to flip my camera to VIDEO mode and capture the entirety of the experience.  I am kicking myself for that.

This is a Great Basin Rattlesnake

 

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

The Indian Paintbrush is especially widespread and vibrant this year on the ridge between Cave Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon. (Idaho).

I just learned, through a bit of reading, that they have a parasitic relationship with Sagebrush in areas where water is not plentiful. They apparently steal moisture from the roots of the sagebrush.

Karma

Because it was 55 degrees outside and snow was forecast for the next day, I decided to go for a mountain bike ride instead of staying at my desk to get some important work done. I figured it would be my last chance before winter officially descended on the area.

Midway through the ride a bush and I had a disagreement. I thought I could power through the edge of it but it stopped me completely. When I tried to step out to my left, I couldn’t unclip fast enough and the step was down slope so I went tumbling off the edge. The front sprocket decided to do a number on my lower leg with a nice little puncture wound. I couldn’t get the bleeding stopped easily after I finally got it cleaned up so I went in and had a couple of stitches put in.

That’ll teach me to think twice before leaving my desk next time.

I need to find an orange vest

I’ve really been missing my frequent mountain bike rides so when I arrived home from my trip, I immediately headed out to the hills.  Here is a view from the trailhead parking lot:

I took a new little camera today that is built for the outdoors.  I hung it from my camelback and TRIED to shoot without unclipping it.  As you can see, I didn’t do a great job on my first attempt!

As I neared the top of my climb I ran into some hunters coming down the road I was on.  I asked them if I could take a picture of them.  I wish it had turned out better.  These poor people sat there for a couple of minutes while I fumbled around with my camera.  I couldn’t figure out, with my foggy glasses on, why it was not snapping the photo.  A yellow box repeatedly showed upon the screen around the Deer head.  Yeah, you guessed it,  I accidentally had it set on “pet” mode and it was waiting for the dead deer to turn its head to the camera! Ha!  I found out later that the glass covering the lens was all fogged up with sweat/moisture.  Oh well.. it still captures the moment. 

I was most looking forward to photographing a particular section of trail that I had photographed several times with my cell phone camera. I thought today it would be a complete carpet of color and was excited to point a higher megapixel camera at the scene.  To my surprise however, the trees were mostly bare and the leaves had all turned brown, matching the color of the ground for the most part. 

 

At least the traction today was as good as ever!  The sandy parts had really taken a lot of moisture.  Had I not rammed my head and shoulder into a particular tree, I would have made it up the certain challenging section that I have not made it up once this year.  Maybe tomorrow? 

This new little camera has an “interval” setting so I just let it dangle from my pack, taking a shot every 10 seconds as I descended back to the truck.  I didn’t put it on sport mode on purpose.  I was hoping for a blurry picture.  (experimenting) 

The weather was GREAT!  I learned a bit more about the camera.  I know I need to find an orange vest to wear for the rest of this year.  I will be going again as soon as possible.  🙂