Thursday, August 4, 2016
Was fortunate enough to get a double feature Monday, was scheduled to ride with a friend at 6:30. The place was South Mountain, the trail Mormon and National. Two Iconic Phoenix trails known for their rocky challenges and tricky passages. Unlike most nights this one was humid, thunderstorms soaked in the distance as we climbed Mormon ridge. The views were spectacular as the air was clear and the thunderstorms glooming along the foothills made for an amazing capture. Tons of sweat and hard work lead to me clearing almost entirely Mormon and national. The YT was getting a working, and for some reason I feel bad giving it to it. Those new tires are still gripping amazing but will wear quick on terrain like this. We topped out at the saddle before a drop down and up to the parking lot. So we armed ourselves with headlamps, mine unfortunately the backup one since I have issues yet again with Serfas Lights. Started railing down the trail and noticed lighting was going to be an issue and we were losing it fast. Cruising around corner a snake, not just any snake, a rattler, big surprise. I yell out a few obscenities as I have no time to avoid going right over the damn thing, it strikes somewhere under my feet and some how I didn't run it over. I yell out to my buddy Chris snake and he stays clear. I go back to inspect the aggressor, a black tailed rattle snake with a green skin that would have me thinking Mojave Rattler but the missing rings meant Black Tail. A pic and we are back off, now my dinky 300 lumen headlight is barely lighting the trail, I struggle on into the darkness in terrible effort to make out the challenging trail but pull the run off cleanly. That was seriously sketchy with my lack of light, Chris comes away unscathed for the most part and I think I won't do that again without a good headlamp. Six snakes in 6 months, our meetings will be plenty by the time I leave this place, each encounter is unpleasant to say the least.