Up a Mountain & Over a Rattler
An early morning start for a ride up to Mount Bigelow where there is a water pump at mile 20. While the winter and spring to date has had below normal temps, that has changed as we are experiencing daily highs about 15 above average.
Although not shown in this image, the traffic may be the heaviest I have witnessed, virtually all of it going up. Bigelow is on the shoulder of Lemmon where Summerhaven is located. I can't imagine all the cars having some place to park and as I pass each parking area, the lots are full.
This is an iconic rock formation, visible at about mile 15, above Geology Point Vista.
The views, beautiful. The Cookie Cabin and Sawmill Restaurant, both open but for carry-out only are sure to be way busy so I decide not to enter Summerhaven. I pass the time of the ride to count cyclists who are descending. I stopped counting at 100 as they too are swarming the road.
My cell phone is impacted by the humidity of being stored in my back jersey so the images are not so clear.
The pump has been turned on and is the only source of water from the climb's base to Summerhaven, again at mile 20. It's only another mile to where the road finally bends down for about 1.5 miles, then rises about the same and rolls into the town but no reason to go there so I turn around and finish with 45 miles and 5000' of climbing. Next day....
I go out for an easy spin to loosen my legs. While returning the last mile via the bike path, I come out of an underpass and there laying across the path is a medium sized rattlesnake. Nothing I could do but roll over it. I stop, turn around and it is curled as shown above but appears ok. Probably a bad idea to leave it there as a walker could get snagged so I get off the bike, scoot my rear tire under the snake and escort it down a ravine where it had been headed. Sensing I was doing a good deed, it did not strike at me:)
Leave a Reply.