As the Western United States burns to the ground and smoke fills the sky with an apocalyptic orange I impatiently wait for the mornings when the mountains are visible from my home. This morning was just such a moment. The Ripmo, weary of sitting in the garage tore through the ruble and moon dust. Like a pair of newly escaped convicts we crashed through Providence Canyon with reckless abandon and gleeful smiles. It’s been way to long since I filled my lungs with the forest air and felt the dirt splash on my ankles.
As we climbed the heat of the day rung me out and I dripped sweat with every pedal stroke. Gasping for air I paused after the final climb to drain my helmet in preparation for the descent. Though the air was still the leafs rustled in the background. As I pulled on my knee sleeves I convinced myself that it was just the sounds of the forest. The tiny lizards and squirrels frequently keep me company as they scurry about the forest floor. Something was different about this sound. I got the feeling I was being watched. An eerie stillness filled the air around me. I scanned the space around me and this guy emerged from the leafs covering the forest floor.
As my heart pounded he moved slowly across the trail and into the rocks. I stuck around in case to prevent any other riders from happening upon nasty surprise. After years of riding this trail and never seeing any, this is the second rattlesnake I’ve seen this year. I spent the rest of the ride scanning the trail and jumping at random sticks along the side.
The ride – Providence Canyon