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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Snake encounters on the Front Range.

    Anybody hear of a rider getting bit by a rattlesnake at the Devils Backbone recently? I don't have the full details but this is what I heard. I heard the hospital bill was upwards of $300K / holy crap I don't know if he had insurance,but if not that could put a crimp in your wallet. I just hope he is physically okay and had insurance.
    UPDATE:Thanks to MtbRN who provided this link to this story 3 days after my initial post. Mountain Biker Tells Of Surviving Rattlesnake Bite - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 06-24-2015 at 10:22 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    I have not heard about that one, but my friend's daughter was bitten about 3 weeks ago down near the water at Horsetooth Reservoir. She is fine, but he said the anti-venom was not cheap. I never heard a total cost of her hospital visit.

    Our group saw a pretty good-sized one in Lory on the East Valley trail last Wednesday evening. Fortunately the guy in front saw it in time to stop and warn the rest of us so we could get a bunch of photos (and then go around the snake).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rattlesnake bite at the Backbone...-snakehunters.jpg  


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    I was in the blue sky lot yesterday when a guy pulled in to tell us his brother had been bitten the day before. Apparently he was bitten on the fly and didn't realize it until it hurt severely and he turned around to see the snake in the trail. His brother said the rider was okay, but was still in the ICU.

  4. #4
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    I am going back to riding before the 7:00am snake wake up call.

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    Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherf@&king snakes on these motherf@&king trails!
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    Yikers!!

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    Think I'll keep riding above 9000 ft until the colder weather comes in. My friend from Texas lost his hand after getting bitten by a rattler. Can't stand the bastuds!

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    Here's a rattlesnake I saw at the top of Tower at HTMP on July 2:



    And if you hang out strictly above 9000 feet, you'll have to deal with what I encountered today at the Montgomery Ditch:



    That's four of the eight moose I saw today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerglen View Post
    Here's a rattlesnake I saw at the top of Tower at HTMP on July

    And if you hang out strictly above 9000 feet, you'll have to deal with what I encountered today at

    That's four of the eight moose I saw today.
    Ha,ha great shot although it's a bit scary having a mother Moose with her calves trotting towards you. Those creatures are bit unpredictable.
    My sister was up in Walden this morning helping with a race. She has a photo of 4 HUGE Bull Moose hanging together. A pretty awesome sight for sure. And I would take those sightings ten fold over a Rattler.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 08-04-2012 at 10:47 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    I would much rather encounter a rattler than moose. Moose scare the hell out of me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by literocola View Post
    I would much rather encounter a rattler than moose. Moose scare the hell out of me.
    A Moose isin't too hard to spot compared to a Rattler blending into it's surroundings. It's like stepping on a land mine, by the time you see him it may be too late.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    I've never had the privilidge of encountering a rattler, which amazes me for how much time I ride and the times I choose to ride. I hear a lot about rattlers here in Pueblo at Red Gate, but never seen one, I have even tried looking for one, just out of curiosity.

    If your hauling arse down the trail, and one is in the way, what do you do? I dont know the right way to handle the situation, and if that situation occurs whats the best action? I would imagine stop and let him do his thing? What if you just hop over him? Bad idea? This is where I feel like a blond, which I am.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by literocola View Post
    I've never had the privilidge of encountering a rattler, which amazes me for how much time I ride and the times I choose to ride. I hear a lot about rattlers here in Pueblo at Red Gate, but never seen one, I have even tried looking for one, just out of curiosity.

    If your hauling arse down the trail, and one is in the way, what do you do? I dont know the right way to handle the situation, and if that situation occurs whats the best action? I would imagine stop and let him do his thing? What if you just hop over him? Bad idea? This is where I feel like a blond, which I am.....
    If you see one they are very easy to avoid. They can only strike half of thier body length which is 2'. Just ride around them or at high speed bunny hop them. It's the ones you don't see that will get ya. When you stop for a break one could be hidden right where you step or sit down.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 08-04-2012 at 11:39 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by literocola View Post
    Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it!
    No problem and seeing how you ride mainly around Pueblo you are garunteed to see one eventually.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    A Moose isin't too hard to spot compared to a Rattler blending into it's surroundings. It's like stepping on a land mine, by the time you see him it may be too late.
    The Moose might decide to chase you down and stomp on you. Rattlers are just trying to get away, unless you do step on/near them.

    I'm way more cautious of a Moose. Huge body, small brains, and they like to be alone, sometimes forcing the point. Albiet my Dad is from Finland so I grew up hearing some crazy moose stories.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokefork View Post
    Think I'll keep riding above 9000 ft until the colder weather comes in. My friend from Texas lost his hand after getting bitten by a rattler. Can't stand the bastuds!
    So rattlers don't hang out above 9000 ft? I'm headed to Breck for vacation tomorrow, so this is good news!

  18. #18
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    We the people ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj View Post
    The Moose might decide to chase you down and stomp on you. Rattlers are just trying to get away, unless you do step on/near them.

    I'm way more cautious of a Moose. Huge body, small brains, and they like to be alone, sometimes forcing the point. Albiet my Dad is from Finland so I grew up hearing some crazy moose stories.
    Totally agree Moose are very unpredictable and dangerous. I was just saying if I had a choice of sightings between a Moose a Rattler the Moose wins hands down. A much more majestic sighting than a Rattler. I've seen many a Rattler in my day but rarely a Moose.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwcet8k View Post
    So rattlers don't hang out above 9000 ft?...
    Back when I moved to the area in '82, Laramie, WY, the conventional wisdom I heard was that there pretty much were no rattlers above about 6,000 feet. That may be true up north of the CO border, but I know better in terms of down here.

    They are pretty common right around Salida, 7,000 feet. I see them on our local trail system up to about 7,500 ft. I once saw one on the way up to the Rainbow Trail, a little over 7,500 on a dirt road that winds along between arid pinon/juniper and irrigated hay fields.

    I can't say I've ever seen one much above 7,500. Buena Vista is super arid, and has the same kind of ecosystem along the river we have. Never heard of one being seen up there. It's right at around 8,000 feet.

    So, yeah, 9,000 is way beyond where they would be seen, unless they hitched a ride on a hay truck or something.
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    I wouldn't count on a rattler-free high country see:

    Rattlers in the High Country :: SuperTopo Rock Climbing Discussion Topic

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    Maybe today while a shred some of the 2013 Specialized demo bikes!

    Why do I get this feeling I'm gonna be one of the only people there.......
    Last edited by literocola; 08-05-2012 at 05:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwcet8k View Post
    So rattlers don't hang out above 9000 ft? I'm headed to Breck for vacation tomorrow, so this is good news!
    I saw a few at about 8900 feet in Happy Jack a few weeks ago, which is just east of Laramie, WY, sunning on some rocks. I was always told they don't live above 6000 feet as well, but I have countless friends that have had their horses, dogs, etc bite by them above those elevations. I guess it's been a bad year for them up here in Wyoming (guessing Colorado too) since the winter was so mild and dry.

    Personally, I'm scared to death to come across them, but the good thing is that the national anti-venom distribution center is in Denver, so we are "lucky" in the sense that we have pretty quick access to the stuff if needed. It is insanely expensive, as was discussed!

  23. #23
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    Some misconceptions on Rattlesnake behavior in this thread. They are commonly seen above 9000 feet elevation.
    Also during hot summer months they are more active hunting at night. So don't think an early morning ride you are safe from any encounters. In fact I failed to mention in my initial post that this bite happened on a night ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  24. #24
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    VICTORY!!!!!

    Got to see one at Red Gate today! You wernt joking about land mines, my buddy passed him and didnt see him, I was like- Rattler right there! We were on foot too, walking up the trail.


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Some misconceptions on Rattlesnake behavior in this thread. They are commonly seen above 9000 feet elevation.
    Also during hot summer months they are more active hunting at night. So don't think an early morning ride you are safe from any encounters. In fact I failed to mention in my initial post that this bite happened on a night ride.
    Rattlesnakes (DesertUSA)
    The night rides I do usually occur shortly after dusk when the temps are still pretty warm, so I could understand snake events on a night ride. I choose early morning rides for the cool temps and thought rattlers were less active in those cooler (60's) temps.

    On the other hand, I do worry about mountain lion encounters during the same early morning hours. I guess you can't avoid all dangers, so you choose the lesser of the evils.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwcet8k View Post
    So rattlers don't hang out above 9000 ft? I'm headed to Breck for vacation tomorrow, so this is good news!
    I've lived in Breckenridge for almost 30 years and have never seen a snake, let alone a rattlesnake in the area. Maybe down in Silverthorne or the lower Blue, but not here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by literocola View Post
    VICTORY!!!!!

    Got to see one at Red Gate today! You wernt joking about land mines, my buddy passed him and didnt see him, I was like- Rattler right there! We were on foot too, walking up the trail.
    Congrats and great shot! Beautiful and amazing creatures.

  28. #28
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    Saw four moose on Georgia Pass rd tonight. My wife was learning to dirt bike and I was following her in the truck. We came around a corner and there was a bull in the middle of the road. Apparently they are not afraid of petite ladies revving a little 4 stroke. He made eye contact and gave her the 'seriously?' look.

    I pulled ahead and he moved off the road, so we used the truck as a shield just in case.

    We've seen a few in the distance before, but they are HUGE up close. It would be very intimidating to meet one on the MTB.

    I've had close encounters with rattlers (may have been bull snakes though) at centennial cone, white ranch and hewletts gulch . Feeling good that my new sidi's come up to my knees and the new bike can outrun anything with legs.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    I am going back to riding before the 7:00am snake wake up call.
    The best time to ride a mountain bicycle between May-October!
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I've lived in Breckenridge for almost 30 years and have never seen a snake, let alone a rattlesnake in the area. Maybe down in Silverthorne or the lower Blue, but not here.
    I was up just outside Estes Park a few weekends ago camping and overheard a couple of park rangers saying there are no Rattlesnakes (or snakes for that matter with exception of Garter snakes) up there even at 7,500 feet. The low pressure of oxygen is believed to affect egg embryos from developing once you get above 7000 feet or so apparently.

    I've found two dead snakes on my property in the last 48 hours down here in Fort Collins. Lots dead on the road as well this year. The high heat in June sure seems to have hatched every single egg this year I bet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Back when I moved to the area in '82, Laramie, WY, the conventional wisdom I heard was that there pretty much were no rattlers above about 6,000 feet.
    When I lived in Laramie I was told the same thing! Probably sheer luck that I didn't get bit, since I was a pretty avid hiker at that time. Never saw a rattler that I know of, so maybe they are just "uncommon" at those altitudes. Good thing, as we all had a false sense of security.
    Probably the same "conventional wisdom" that used to say coyotes never hunt in packs.
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  32. #32
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    Would not be a bad idea to have a wise trail etiquette doggy on the trail to lead the way. That way you can be warned ahead of the trail.

    Just make sure the dog is faster than you.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    When I lived in Laramie I was told the same thing! Probably sheer luck that I didn't get bit, since I was a pretty avid hiker at that time. Never saw a rattler that I know of, so maybe they are just "uncommon" at those altitudes. Good thing, as we all had a false sense of security.
    Probably the same "conventional wisdom" that used to say coyotes never hunt in packs.
    Laramie is really kind of its own thing. It's a really harsh cold place. Even though it's about 7,000, it's just gnarly with short summers. Even if rattlesnakes can live there, they aren't going to thrive.

    I remember talking to people when I visited Northern Wyo where my ex wife is from. Tell them you were from Laramie and they'd say, "Dang it's cold down there!" Sheridan/Buffalo wasn't exactly a warm place, but Laramie was a special gnarly micro-climate.

    I hear people in this thread saying rattlers can be found lots higher than 7,500. I don't know enough to say anybody is wrong about that, but it does make sense that elevation is not the only determinant of climate. Where it's cold and the summers are short, they aren't likely to thrive.

    I worked for the Molecular Biology department at CSU for a while in the mid-90s when I was in grad school. There was a lab the floor below my office where they kept poisonous snakes and harvested venom to make anti-venom. I think I remember hearing that the only way to make anti-venom was with real snake venom. Can't be synthesized. Pretty expensive, having to feed and care for captive snakes so that you can harvest a few ccs of venom every month or so...
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  34. #34
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    I ran over one of these King Snakes while walking my bike on Marshall Mesa during a night ride. I was trying to shoo a coyote off the trail and rolled my bike tire right over his tail. He was completely laid out, chilling right in the middle of Community Ditch trail. He wasn't happy and snapped at me. Not venomous, but didn't know it at the time, so booked it. Rare to see one of these in Colorado.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    When I lived in Laramie I was told the same thing! Probably sheer luck that I didn't get bit, since I was a pretty avid hiker at that time. Never saw a rattler that I know of, so maybe they are just "uncommon" at those altitudes. Good thing, as we all had a false sense of security.
    Probably the same "conventional wisdom" that used to say coyotes never hunt in packs.
    Having grown up in Laramie/Centennial, I've never seen a rattlesnake until a few weeks ago up in some rocks in Happy Jack. I really think this year has to do with having a very "short" winter and stupidly hot (for Laramie) spring/summer. Now in Cheyenne, they're a lot more common, and of course that is a lot lower in elevation as well.

    I definitely agree with the false sense of security thing, though! I never thought they lived up here...

  36. #36
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    His name is Rattles.

    My wife rode right past him, nearly ran him over. I didn't see him until I was next to him. I stopped to take a picture. By that point he was fed up with our shenanigans.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rattlesnake bite at the Backbone...-8-6-2012-4-07-57-pm.jpg  


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    I live at 7400 ft (west of Monument) and see rattlesnakes on a fairly regular basis. My dog has been bitten twice and the treatment is not cheap (even with my wife being a vet). The snakes didn't scare me too much until I had kids. Now, I'm constantly worried one of them will be bitten when playing outside.

    BTW, I live right next to the Monument Preserve, so keep that in mind when riding the trails there :-)
    (although, I have to admit that I've never seen a rattler on the trails, just at my house and on the roads).

    Here are a couple shots from my house...


    DSCF4167.JPG by bbaker22, on Flickr


    Rattlesnake by bbaker22, on Flickr
    baker

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    [QUOTE=BaeckerX1;9567833]I ran over one of these King Snakes while walking my bike on Marshall Mesa during a night ride. I was trying to shoo a coyote off the trail and rolled my bike tire right over his tail. He was completely laid out, chilling right in the middle of Community Ditch trail. He wasn't happy and snapped at me. Not venomous, but didn't know it at the time, so booked it. Rare to see one of these in Colorado.




    Great photo and yes that is a California King snake. I used to see them all the time in the mountains east of San Diego. I was surprised when you posted this as seen in Colorado. So I googled it only to find they are rarely found in South West Colorado. You saw it in Marshall Mesa in Boulder correct? You should let Fish and Game know where it was sighted. They study all critters and thier movements.
    Are king snakes found in Colorado
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 08-06-2012 at 05:42 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Having grown up in Laramie/Centennial, I've never seen a rattlesnake until a few weeks ago up in some rocks in Happy Jack. I really think this year has to do with having a very "short" winter and stupidly hot (for Laramie) spring/summer.
    If you don't mind, we'll keep sending them up from Fort Collins.

    Pretty sure EVERY egg hatched and the next several years will be rattlesnake plentiful.

    Ironically there are a lot of bunnies this year and the Coyote population seems to be thriving as well. Go figure. Love mother nature.
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    [QUOTE=baker;9568495]I live at 7400 ft (west of Monument) and see rattlesnakes on a fairly regular basis. My dog has been bitten twice and the treatment is not cheap (even with my wife being a vet). The snakes didn't scare me too much until I had kids. Now, I'm constantly worried one of them will be bitten when playing outside.

    BTW, I live right next to the Monument Preserve, so keep that in mind when riding the trails there :-)
    (although, I have to admit that I've never seen a rattler on
    [url=htt


    Proof positive of high altitude sightings.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  41. #41
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    I've seen rattlesnakes at Coyote Ridge, Indian Summer, Maxwell and Devils Backbone. The largest was at Indian summer. The most aggressive rattlesnake I've ever encountered was at Devil's backbone right before what use to be known as heart attack hill. I've never seen any rattlesnakes at Ginny Trail/Bobcat Ridge and I probably ride there more than the others. I also haven't seen any this summer so far.. and hopefully I won't.

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    My wife and I saw a rattlesnake sprawled across the entire trail sunning itself in late June this year right at the upper White Ranch parking lot. We were headed out for a hike with our daughter, I saw the snake probably about ten feet away and stopped my wife who thought it was just a stick. This was pretty early at around 7:00 am so it was probably still lethargic.
    According to the net that lot is at 7,650', so they certainly range to that elevation.

    I was high alert for that entire hike and spent those two hours actively scanning the trail and trail side. I was exhausted afterward.

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    Am I safe riding 14'ers, or has anyone seen them up that high?

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    I think you might need to head to the Himalaya.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Great photo and yes that is a California King snake. I used to see them all the time in the mountains east of San Diego. I was surprised when you posted this as seen in Colorado. So I googled it only to find they are rarely found in South West Colorado. You saw it in Marshall Mesa in Boulder correct? You should let Fish and Game know where it was sighted. They study all critters and thier movements.
    Are king snakes found in Colorado
    Thanks, but not my photo, just got that on a Google image search when I was trying to find out what type of snake it was. It looked just like that. I'd never seen any like it before here in CO so I was really curious. It could have escaped from a snake owner too I imagine.
    Gotta get up to get down.
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    Speaking of other snakes, I saw one of these guys a couple years back on a trail in Superior

    Milk Snake



    Scared the crap out of me as it slithered right across the trail as I was climbing up. Nothing quite like the adrenaline rush you get when a see a snake moving.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crit Rat View Post
    Milk Snake
    I saw one of those on Coyote Ridge a couple of years back and was really surprised, thinking it was a coral snake and that those are not supposed to be around here. Had to Google it when I got home and found it was not a coral snake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    I saw one of those on Coyote Ridge a couple of years back and was really surprised, thinking it was a coral snake and that those are not supposed to be around here. Had to Google it when I got home and found it was not a coral snake.
    I believe the saying for telling a coral snake from a milk snake is

    Red touch yellow, kill a fellow
    Red touch black, fellow should smoke a hit of crack.


    Could come in handy if you're out in the desert southwest. But the crack could be hard to find out there.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    I also saw the same snake on Coyote a few years back (along the first ridge). I was surprised since I also thought it was a corral snake but I never found out (until now) that it is a milk snake. Didn't think those type of snakes were around here.

  50. #50
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    note to self:

    Only thing at HTMP are mtn lions and rattlesnakes...
    -Santa Cruz TBLTc
    STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down... all for the sake of a race on the internet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow View Post
    If you don't mind, we'll keep sending them up from Fort Collins.

    Pretty sure EVERY egg hatched and the next several years will be rattlesnake plentiful.

    Ironically there are a lot of bunnies this year and the Coyote population seems to be thriving as well. Go figure. Love mother nature.
    Oh, you can surely keep them all down there :P More oxygen and hippies for them to munch on

    I am not scared at all of mountain lions, though. So send them up! They're just cute little kitties after all, right?

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by hullendersauce View Post
    Only thing at HTMP are mtn lions and rattlesnakes...
    As far as you know...
    I have only seen bears in the park a couple of times, but have seen their droppings the last few rides in the park.

  53. #53
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    This might be the incident the OP was referring to:
    Mountain Biker Tells Of Surviving Rattlesnake Bite - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver

    My apologies if it has already been posted.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post

    DSCF4167.JPG by bbaker22, on Flickr
    You should replace the "Welcome" sign with "No Solicitors".

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCS5280 View Post
    You should replace the "Welcome" sign with "No Solicitors".
    LOL

    Yeah, my wife wasn't too happy to find this one at our doorstep, with the kids playing in the yard...

    We get very few solicitors at our house, and I certainly treat them nicer than I treated this snake!
    baker

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I believe the saying for telling a coral snake from a milk snake is

    Red touch yellow, kill a fellow
    Red touch black, fellow should smoke a hit of crack.

    Perhaps that is the LA version- but I think the rhyme has been around longer than crack has been around.

    I first heard it as:
    Red touch yellow, kill a fellow
    Red touch black, scratch his back.


    Not that I will be scratching ANY snake's back. Ever.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    This might be the incident the OP was referring to:
    Mountain Biker Tells Of Surviving Rattlesnake Bite - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver

    My apologies if it has already been posted.
    Thank-you for posting this, yes this is the bite incident I was referring to. And the story is exactly what was told to me. The dusk,the yucca plant and then realizing it was a rattlesnake that bit him. So now I will edit my initial post and add this link you provided, thank-you again.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Interesting to read this thread...I have lived above 7500 ft since moving to CO, and have never seen a rattler. Right now I'm at about 8500, just a short ways away from the top of Centennial Cone, and some neighbors just told me of several rattlesnake encounters in the neighborhood. Eesh.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkiMtb View Post
    Interesting to read this thread...I have lived above 7500 ft since moving to CO, and have never seen a rattler. Right now I'm at about 8500, just a short ways away from the top of Centennial Cone, and some neighbors just told me of several rattlesnake encounters in the neighborhood. Eesh.
    I too find it interesting, especially the misconceptions of rattlesnake behavior and activity. The elevation misconceptionthat they are not found above 6000 feet. I have been Googling this and there are numerous sightings up to 9000 feet. The highest elevation I have seen them is at 7500 feet above Big Bear California.
    Also many think they are not out during evening hours. Which is wrong, during hot summer months they stay in the shade during the day. And then are active hunting during evening hours. If the days are very hot upwards of 100° or more they stay active all night and into the next morning. Then return to a den or shaded area for the upcoming hot day. Plan your rides accordingly boys and keep your Witt's about you with eyes wide open.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkiMtb View Post
    Interesting to read this thread...I have lived above 7500 ft since moving to CO, and have never seen a rattler. Right now I'm at about 8500, just a short ways away from the top of Centennial Cone, and some neighbors just told me of several rattlesnake encounters in the neighborhood. Eesh.
    I'll add to those Cone sightings. Last month when I rode the Cone I saw at least five young rattlers right on the singletrack. Five or six. Most appeared to be dead. Those snakes got strava'd. Must be some nest nearby.

    Imagine rolling over an angry rattler and somehow picking it up off the ground with the tire and tossing it up right onto your critical areas. Don't tell me you haven't thought about it.

    Seems like we are having one of those snake summers that comes around every once in a while. One year when I was a kid in Cholera Springs we had bull snakes and garter snakes all over the place. Huge bull snakes just hanging out in people's yards. It literally smelled like snakes. Freaked me out. That was a long time ago. Haven't seen anything like it until this year with the rattlesnakes.

    Early settlers on the Front Range killed a lot of rattlesnakes. It's a major topic of conversation in old letters and memoirs and such. There is one account of some kids who lived south of Sedalia finding a nest of rattlesnakes on a ledge on Dawson Butte. Like a big ball of snakes.

    Sorry for writing an essay about snakes. Freaking Day of the Animals, man.

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    It does seem to be the year of the snake. In the last 10 years, I typically see about a handful of snakes each year (i.e. something like 3-5). This year I have seen about 30-40 snakes (more than half were rattlers), though this year I have probably doubled my riding to train for an event which accounts for a small part of the increase. This year, I have seen a snake on most rides (some rides I see two or three). It is pretty freaky and I now expect to see snakes. 2012 - Year of the Snake!

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by literocola View Post
    VICTORY!!!!!

    Got to see one at Red Gate today! You wernt joking about land mines, my buddy passed him and didnt see him, I was like- Rattler right there! We were on foot too, walking up the trail.

    Ha,ha sorry I missed your "VICTORY " post. Glad to hear you finally got to see one. Land Mines!
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Since riding inches past a coiled and rattling rattlesnake hidden by a bush at Soapstone Prairie this June, I almost expect to see one EVERY TIME I RIDE PAST A DAMN BUSH. A woman coming down the trail warned me of a "big rattlesnake right in the middle of the trail about a half-mile ahead," but I was so tunnel-visioned looking for a rattlesnake RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIL that I didn't even think to look off the trail.

    The fact that the chances of being bitten while riding are extremely remote doesn't seem to comfort me much, especially on Front Range trails where brush is plentiful. Or when someone coming the other way tells me they shooed a rattlesnake off the trail. I'm just jumpy since my Soapstone experience.

    2012 does seem to be the Year of the Snake. I blame the heat.

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    I've seen 2 at white ranch in the last 10 days or so, and a buddy following me saw one try to strike me on a trip down longhorn on Monday.

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    I've seen small non-venomous snakes in Evergreen (we have one living in our front yard). I usually see at least one small snake per season on the trail at Elk Meadow and I saw my first snake at A/3S last week (green, which I haven't seen here before). I've yet to see or hear a rattler (+/-7500') anywhere up here, but it's not quite so arid here.

    The only rattler that I've run into while mountain biking was coming down Rabbit Mountain between Lyons and Longmont. I was moving pretty fast, so I figured it was best to just keep on rolling (and apparently that was the right decision).

    I remember reading something in Dirt Rag (back when it was still B&W) about a tool that you would carry while riding for pulling snakes out of your hubs. Apparently there are snake migrations and if you're on a road bike you can ride right into a swarm of snakes and they'll get wrapped around your axles and in your drive-train. That was back when Dirt Rag was good, so I'm not really sure whether it was on the level or not, but it certainly sounded like something I never wanted to experience.


    edit... I just read that article...

    Rangers told 7NEWS almost 80 percent of the rattlesnake biting incidents they see involve someone trying to handle a snake.

    LOL, we're doomed. No wonder anti-venom is so expensive, we're wasting it on idiots.

  66. #66
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    [Originally posted by Topmounter]

    edit... I just read that article...

    Rangers told 7NEWS almost 80 percent of the rattlesnake biting incidents they see involve someone trying to handle a snake.

    LOL, we're doomed. No wonder anti-venom is so expensive, we're wasting it on idiots.[/QUOTE]
    ………………………………………………………………………




    ^^^^ LOL. Really!!

    UPDATE:I heard from a reliable source that the bite victim saw 6 more rattlesnakes on the way out.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 08-11-2012 at 10:28 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    I should have never read this thread! I hate snakes!
    In all my miles logged on the front range I've only seen 2 . One at Hall Ranch and one at Heil.

  68. #68
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    On Saturday we spotted a rattler on the Blue Sky gravel trail section at base of Indian Summer (joins the north and south singletrack sections of the loop). This was my first snake of the season. Usually I've seen several by mid-August.

    It was layed out on the edge of the trail as my buddies passed. We stopped to gauk. It didn't coil up and start rattling until one guy says, "Let's take a picture!" Scared the crap out of me. I was surprised that it didn't coil up when they rode within a few feet of it - something about my buddies voice I guess. I was afraid to ride around it even with a 10 ft buffer.

  69. #69
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    keep it in perspective

    I think maybe it's worth urging everybody to keep some perspective about the danger of rattlesnakes. Statistically speaking, there really aren't that many people bitten even in areas where lots of snakes are seen. Dogs are in much greater danger because they are poking around sniffing and walking around off trail. And they are quite likely to actually mess with a snake when they become aware of it.

    The snake doesn't want to bite you. The snake wants to get away. Coiling and rattling is a defensive posture, not an attempt to attack. Leave them alone and they'll generally keep their distance. If you walk way out into the grass to give them a wide berth, that's a really good way to maybe step right next to another one.

    When you're in a place with lots of snakes, just be aware of where you're putting your feet and hands. They are often stuffed up into a bush or in a crack between rocks. It's normal to get a fear reaction. There's a primal reaction to them, especially if you are surprised by one. My heart beats a little faster often when I see one.

    People are going to get bitten by one every once in a while, but that doesn't mean they are incredibly dangerous. Statistically speaking you're way more likely to get hurt driving to and from the trailhead but none of us get worried or agitated about driving.

    Funny story: a couple years ago we had a trail work day on a slope just above Salida with a local 5th grade class. The kids found two different snakes within the first 20 minutes that we were working. About an hour into the day I found a scorpion when I moved a medium sized rock. All of us crew leaders were relieved to wrap up that day and send the kids home safely.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by getvert View Post
    Since riding inches past a coiled and rattling rattlesnake hidden by a bush at Soapstone Prairie this June, I almost expect to see one EVERY TIME I RIDE PAST A DAMN BUSH...

    The fact that the chances of being bitten while riding are extremely remote doesn't seem to comfort me much, especially on Front Range trails where brush is plentiful.
    Yep, I have this problem too. Saw one on Picture Rock a few weeks ago and now I am scanning for them everywhere. By the end of the climb on Saturday, I was seeing pythons coiled in trees and spitting cobras trailside, lol. No actual snakes sighted but a ton of suggestive sticks, rocks, plants, etc.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astra2 View Post
    Yep, I have this problem too. Saw one on Picture Rock a few weeks ago and now I am scanning for them everywhere. By the end of the climb on Saturday, I was seeing pythons coiled in trees and spitting cobras trailside, lol. No actual snakes sighted but a ton of suggestive sticks, rocks, plants, etc.

    Often it's the 2nd person in line who get's bit.

    I was attacked by a copperhead one time while plinking at turtles in a stock
    tank. Mean little buggers. Came up out of the water about 5 feet away and
    swam at me.

    After floods there were cottonmouths and copperheads hanging from the
    trees. If you weren't careful they would drop out of the trees right on
    you.

    We've even had several dens of copperheads in the back yard. Once under the A/C compressor and another under the dog house in the kennel.

    Also used to catch cottonmouths using a trot line with a giant treble hooks and bleach jugs for bobbers. Mean, mean, mean. Cottonmouths are nasty
    to deal with.

    I can't count the rattlesnakes we've killed or that I've run over while riding my moto. Just point it... pick your feet up... and go real fast.

    If I were you I would be careful. Snakes are everywhere and you could get bit at any time.

    Have a nice ride tonight.

  72. #72
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    Cottonmouths are probably the root cause of my fear of snakes. Despite what TomP says about rattlers, cottonmouths DO want to bite you, and they will come after you. Shudder. I hate those effen things.

  73. #73
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    swamp snakes

    Quote Originally Posted by SkiMtb View Post
    Cottonmouths are probably the root cause of my fear of snakes. Despite what TomP says about rattlers, cottonmouths DO want to bite you, and they will come after you. Shudder. I hate those effen things.
    When I was a kid in Michigan, we had blue racers. Those suckers were aggressive. They would chase you. Not venomous of course, but it does pucker a 10-year-old kid to have a 7 foot long bright blue snake that comes out of nowhere and moves as fast as quicksilver charging at your knees.

    Like I said before, encounters with a snake are very primal. It'll give anybody a shot of adrenaline, especially in the right situation.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    After reading this entire thread yesterday I had a dream last night that my handle bar turned into a snake while I was riding!
    Thanks fellas.

  75. #75
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    Opposite for me this year – only one rattlesnake sighting (GM west side parking lot – baby one). I lost count last year – three in one ride last spring. I did way more early rides last year which was when I saw them hanging out on the trail (lethargically) so maybe explained by an earlier post indicating they are out more in the cooler periods. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I keep an eye out, I still get surprised by them (I guess I let my guard down when grinding out a climb).

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by givati View Post
    After reading this entire thread yesterday I had a dream last night that my handle bar turned into a snake while I was riding!
    Thanks fellas.
    Like this?

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/l8rxJRsINU4" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Like this?

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/l8rxJRsINU4" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>
    Ha,ha,ha……
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  78. #78
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    "Enough about Human Rights...
    ...What about Snake Rights?"

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    Monarch.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerglen View Post
    Here's a rattlesnake I saw at the top of Tower at HTMP on July 2:



    And if you hang out strictly above 9000 feet, you'll have to deal with what I encountered today at the Montgomery Ditch:



    That's four of the eight moose I saw today.
    Love it. She does not look happy.
    I see probably 2-4 rattlers per season when I am home on front range riding from July-oct riding ~4 times per week. I usually get them off the trail with a jedi mind trick. (disclaimer, former reptile handler, don't try this, go waaay around.) Most importantly, control your dogs. More dog rattler bites on front range than anyone else.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairstream View Post
    Monarch...
    What exactly do you mean by Monarch? Did you see this up on Monarch Pass/Monarch Crest??
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  82. #82
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    Just a local beginner's loop near our house off Monarch Blvd in Highlands Ranch that I rode the other day. Not sure what the locals call it. I'm new here. Sorry.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairstream View Post
    Just a local beginner's loop near our house off Monarch Blvd in Highlands Ranch that I rode the other day. Not sure what the locals call it. I'm new here. Sorry.
    That's OK, there have just been so many stories about snakes up high lately...

    If you were going to tell me that there'd been a rattler seen at 12,000 feet on the Monarch Crest, I was prepared to either freak out or call you a liar.

    Or something...
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  84. #84
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    "Enough about Human Rights...
    ...What about Snake Rights?"[/QUOTE]
    All I can say about that video is …………WTF.
    Where,how,why did this pop into your head.
    Pretty funny though.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghawk View Post
    Love it. She does not look happy.
    I see probably 2-4 rattlers per season when I am home on front range riding from July-oct riding ~4 times per week. I usually get them off the trail with a jedi mind trick. (disclaimer, former reptile handler, don't try this, go waaay around.) Most importantly, control your dogs. More dog rattler bites on front range than anyone else.
    Her adolescent child decided to run right by me. Picture below. That's unedited.

    I was at Dinosaur National Monument yesterday. A park ranger had the road blocked with her truck and walks back to my Jeep with a baby snake. "You interested in snakes?" "Yep." "Want to know how to tell a rattlesnake from a bull snake?" "Sure."

    "Grab the snake behind the head so it doesn't turn around and bite you, turn it over, and locate the anal plate. Bull snakes will have two rows of scales on the underside of the tail from the anal plate to the tip of the tail. Rattlesnakes only have one row of scales from the plate to the tail on their underside. This one has two so it's a harmless bull snake. See?" "Cool, but I think I'll just let the snake be."

    This particular snake had just been run over by a Subaru speeding back to the highway. We gave the snake a proper burial...left it on a rock so a lucky bird could have an easy meal. She went back to her research project and I continued on my way through the desert.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rattlesnake bite at the Backbone...-img0707-m-copy.jpg  


  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    "Enough about Human Rights...
    ...What about Snake Rights?"
    All I can say about that video is …………WTF.
    Where,how,why did this pop into your head.
    Pretty funny though. [/QUOTE]

    Let Moondog open your mind.

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    Be careful even on the roads

    Took my dog out for a walk Wed night just west of Lyons and my dog got bit right on the muzzle. We were just walking down our street right after dusk and didn't have a flash light but felt I didn't need one since we were just on the road right out by our place. She went to go sniff something, looked like a rock to me since it was dark out, and that rock lit up, hissed, bit, and then rattled. I picked up my poor girl and I ran back to the house with her in my arms trying not to have her run and spread the poison faster and took her to the emergency vet in Longmont. They ran some blood tests that came up negative and mentioned that since I have a decent sized dog and if the rattler was big it could take up to 12 hours for anything to take effect. I guess small rattlers will enject more venomo that the bigger ones, the big ones know how to conserve their venom. So I waited at the vet for a few hours with no symptoms showing, just a sore spot with a mark on her muzzle. They said it was probably a 'dry bite' no venom was released. I watched her all night and all day yesterday with no symptoms, we lucked out big time. Man was that a scary sound in the dark and one stressful night, so glad my best buddy is ok. Just be careful out there, even walking around on the roads. I'm going to be bringing a flash light from now on.
    I'm bored and at work or else I would be riding

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    I'm glad to hear your dog will be all right. That is a scary event!

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiPavement View Post
    ... so glad my best buddy is ok. Just be careful out there, even walking around on the roads. I'm going to be bringing a flash light from now on.
    Really happy it turned out that way. Sometimes there is no venom released.

    But I've known some people up here who were not so lucky. I know a gal who got a puppy, fell totally in love with it, got it the snake venom innoculations... it got bit on a walk and was dead before she could carry it back to the car.

    Skip the flashlight, get one of these:

    Petzl Tikka Headlamp

    $30 at REI. I'm a total headlamp junkie. You can be car camping and just walk around in the dark doing whatever. Cooking, setting up your tent, reading porn, and it's just like daylight. Whatever you look at is illuminated. Headlamps make flashlights completely irrelevant. IMHO.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  90. #90
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    Bull snakes often make a hissing sound similar to rattlesnakes.

  91. #91
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    Antipavement, Glad to hear your little buddy came out unharmed. And yes you wee extremely lucky a dry bite is rare for sure. This is just another reminder that on hot summer days, rattlers will seek shade and then come out at dusk and hunt through the warm night. As I have mentioned in this thread that seems to be a common misconception and that they are only out in the daylight.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  92. #92
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    Came very close to running over a rattler at Green Mtn last night. He was near the beginning of Rooney at the very first switchback. Had an interesting green color to him. I think he just ate cause he literally moved his head back to try and get out of my way, not strike at me. Sort of weird he didn't hear me and try to get off the trail...he didn't even rattle. Suffice it to say I had to change my shorts when I got home.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Bull snakes often make a hissing sound similar to rattlesnakes.
    Yeah it's crazy how some species of snakes mimic a more dangerous species of snake just as a defense mechanism. The eastern milksnake actually shakes it's tail and mimics the sound of a rattlesnake. I used to frequently catch them as a kid in upstate N.Y.
    Every time they did that it freaked me out. Cool snake though and very colorful. The underside of them is a black and white checkerboard. Up top they are brown spots with a black outline and then a white outline. And they get to 4' to a rare 5' long.
    eastern milk snake belly - Google Search
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 09-03-2012 at 08:11 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hairstream View Post
    Monarch.

    WOAH. If that is one of these small loops HERE, that is within a couple of miles of my home and a place I've ridden a lot...

  95. #95
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    I'm sure the snake has moved on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidmantis View Post
    I'm sure the snake has moved on.
    LOL. I didn't realize that teh thread was over a year old until after I posted..

  97. #97
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    This thread confused the hell out of me as there's another with a very similar title, also started by DIRTJUNKIE, with some of the same pictures. I had to do a double take on the date and question pickled brain memory loss. Luckily all is good. Time for a beer.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidmantis View Post
    This thread confused the hell out of me as there's another with a very similar title, also started by DIRTJUNKIE, with some of the same pictures. I had to do a double take on the date and question pickled brain memory loss. Luckily all is good. Time for a beer.
    It also confused me and that's a hard thing to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Why are people so scared of snakes? You've lived here how many years and seem how many snakes? You likely have some in or near your backyard on any given day. If be more scared of getting killed in my car than by a rattlesnake.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusky21 View Post
    Why are people so scared of snakes? You've lived here how many years and seem how many snakes? You likely have some in or near your backyard on any given day. If be more scared of getting killed in my car than by a rattlesnake.
    Was there anybody in this thread acting scared towards snakes.
    I personally love snakes and look forward to any snake encounter. This thread was merely a warning to let all know to be aware out there.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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