This is a photo of me with my new mountain bike taken by my friend M (I have three friends M) right after an hour-long ride in 90+ F (32+ C) degree heat. Note the red face. I think I got mild heat stroke because I had a horrible headache for the rest of the day. There is also a red letter somewhere in the photo...
We were riding along, and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid running over a fat two foot plus snake stretched out all the way across the trail. My initial reaction whenever I see a snake is to yell “Cool!” and grab it before it can get away (ask Kia - she’s seen me in action). I love snakes.
This is what went through my mind in the couple of seconds it took for the snake to move off the trail:
“Wow! That’s one fat gopher snake”
“Shoot! These stupid mountain bikes don’t have kickstands” (making it more difficult to just jump off and leave it)
“Darn! It’s moving too fast for me to catch it.”
Then my brain began to engage…
“That gopher snake has odd markings…”
”and a very triangular head......”
“And rattles” just as M slid to a stop behind me and said, “Is that a rattler?”
Crotalus oreganus oreganus - Northern Pacific Rattlesnake
Pituophis catenifer catenifer - Pacific Gopher Snake