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  1. #1
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    Gila Monster

    I rode explored some new trails today near Golder Ranch and besides some amazing wildflowers and awesome flowing singletrack with lots of stream crossings that my dog loved, this is what i found-[ awesome animals and sweet saguaros.
    Last edited by Dirt_Diggler; 04-09-2010 at 09:02 AM.

  2. #2
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    the monster

    some sibling saguaros

    and my dog cooling off on our 18 mile ride
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Gila Monster-gila-1.jpg  

    Gila Monster-gila-2.jpg  

    Gila Monster-saguaro-siblings.jpg  

    Gila Monster-cooling-off.jpg  


  3. #3
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    ..

    double post...

  4. #4
    EDR
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    ]Those things are cool. I've been in AZ since I was 9 years old and only came across a Gila Monster once. That was 2 years ago out at Hawes.

    Can't say I'd pick one up in my hands though

  5. #5
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    he was running down the middle of the trail in a wet drainage.

    yeah, i have a "problem" with picking up venemous animals. been doing it since i was 10.

  6. #6
    EDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler
    he was running down the middle of the trail in a wet drainage.

    yeah, i have a "problem" with picking up venemous animals. been doing it since i was 10.
    We were 4 wheeling in the desert once about 15 years ago. My buddy jumped into a ditch and wrangled up a rattle snake with his hands. He damn near got the worst of that encounter. Needless to say, we had a half full keg of beer in the truck. That might have been the motivation behind the whole thing

  7. #7
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    Nice pictures; thanks for posting. Your dog is a total stud to be able to tolerate that ride.

  8. #8
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    Everyone knows rattlers are attracted to beer and cigarettes.
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  9. #9
    Kathleen in AZ
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    I'm so jealous! I have yet to see a gila monster in my 13 years of riding AZ trails.

  10. #10
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler
    he was running down the middle of the trail in a wet drainage.

    yeah, i have a "problem" with picking up venemous animals. been doing it since i was 10.
    sure... it starts out with venemous animals,, but then it gets out of hand and the next thing you know you're picking up hookers with stds...

  11. #11
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    Very nice ! Looks like your dog is lovin life !
    I know 2 people who have been bitten by gilas. I'm told the pain is comparable to lighting your hand on fire and then beating it out with a hammer....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl
    I'm so jealous! I have yet to see a gila monster in my 13 years of riding AZ trails.
    You should ride down here more often DG. I've seen 2 or 3 in the last few weeks.
    ~Aaron~
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  13. #13
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    That is a COOL photo!!!! Only seen one and it was pretty amazing........Drew

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cenobite39
    Very nice ! Looks like your dog is lovin life !
    I know 2 people who have been bitten by gilas. I'm told the pain is comparable to lighting your hand on fire and then beating it out with a hammer....
    Wow! I sure hope I never get bit on the nutz.
    Bulls**t is the glue that binds our nation - George Carlin

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike
    sure... it starts out with venemous animals,, but then it gets out of hand and the next thing you know you're picking up hookers with stds...
    do you know from experience or is this the clinically documented progression of the affliction?

  16. #16
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    he was pretty ferocious at first- hissing and mouth wide open, but once i held him for a bit he totally chilled out. when i put him down my dog was really curious and that turned into a stand off- she was so upset she couldn't win that battle. now i know why they are called monsters. i've been wanting to see a gila monster since i moved here 8 months ago and now i think i have a new favorite desert creature.

  17. #17
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    I've seen a bunch of 'em, never biking but when I used to 4-wheel. Nice photos, but trust me, you do not want to take a bite from one of those things. I knew an older fellow you got bit and said it was one of the worse things he'd ever experienced.

  18. #18
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    Love the pictures Ty, especially you holding it.

  19. #19
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    They can be lightning fast when they lunge to bite.

    Not a good idea to handle them or encourage the handling of them. The dragon breathing was just an indication of how stressed out you made the critter feel, and when they are stressed they can be fast and nasty.

    Nice photography though.

  20. #20
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    i'm not trying to encourage anyone to harass wildlife or put themselves in danger. that said, i know from experience that most reptiles can be safely handled if done carefully. and that while you may perceive this as "stressful" for them, these animals deal with life or death encounters daily and my interaction with them is hardly a deviation from the norm. i'm not going to say handling any wild animal, poisonous or not, is a good idea for anyone else, but for me, no greater appreciation comes being able to study an animal while its in my hands. i can look closely at its skin or scales, it claws, its feathers, and feel its heart beat and recognize its strength.

  21. #21
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    Nice! Only 8 months living here, too.

    I have been wanting to see one of these in the wild since I was a kid. And I was born here. Many, many years ago.

    What time of day was this?

  22. #22
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    it was 4:30

    this link will show you (green bubble) where i saw him.

  23. #23
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    Great pics of this beautiful creature. That said, you remember that one guy from Oz that was very confident in rastling gators but died from a one in a bazillion chance of being speared through the heart with a stingray barb?? Nice pics man.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler
    i'm not trying to encourage anyone to harass wildlife or put themselves in danger. that said, i know from experience that most reptiles can be safely handled if done carefully. and that while you may perceive this as "stressful" for them, these animals deal with life or death encounters daily and my interaction with them is hardly a deviation from the norm. i'm not going to say handling any wild animal, poisonous or not, is a good idea for anyone else, but for me, no greater appreciation comes being able to study an animal while its in my hands. i can look closely at its skin or scales, it claws, its feathers, and feel its heart beat and recognize its strength.

    Well said ! If it is something you enjoy, then it is truly an acceptable risk. I may very well snap my neck on somo tonight but it is worth the risk !

  25. #25
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    Great pics, Dirt Diggler. I've a lot of respect for fellow herpetologists.

  26. #26
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    Well, you need to get off the DH bike and do a little XC once and a while in order to look around and see the wildlife . I've seen four in the last year. one on BCT, two at Alamo Canyon (same ride) and the last one was out at Cave Creek Park a couple of weeks ago. Cool creatures!


    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl
    I'm so jealous! I have yet to see a gila monster in my 13 years of riding AZ trails.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike
    sure... it starts out with venemous animals,, but then it gets out of hand and the next thing you know you're picking up hookers with stds...
    So, Gila monsters are sort of a gateway drug.
    "I tried to live always free and above board like you" Cool Hand Luke

  28. #28
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    Gila Monster encounter

    I had my third encounter with one of these on the BCT north of Black Canyon City on Saturday. I can attest that it is a rare treat. I'm a 49 yr native of Phoenix, and between, backpacking, hunting and mountain biking have spent my fair share of time in the desert. The cool thing about the one this past saturday was the size of the critter. The first two I encountered were both about 10 inches long. This dragon was close to twice that.

    My cell phone camera is disabled by the company I work for so unfortunately no pictures except those etched into memory.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideandshoot
    I had my third encounter with one of these on the BCT north of Black Canyon City on Saturday. I can attest that it is a rare treat. I'm a 49 yr native of Phoenix, and between, backpacking, hunting and mountain biking have spent my fair share of time in the desert. The cool thing about the one this past saturday was the size of the critter. The first two I encountered were both about 10 inches long. This dragon was close to twice that.

    My cell phone camera is disabled by the company I work for so unfortunately no pictures except those etched into memory.
    Yep. Been in AZ 35+ years, and saw only my second Gila Monster last week, right in the middle of the trail in the Phx Mt. Preserve. It was about 18" long. I wasn't paying attention, and came close to running it over. It was trying to cross the trail, and when I came on it, it turned around and headed back. I sat there and watched it for about 10 minutes, and it kept trying to cross the trail, but every time it saw me, it would turn around. Yes, very rare treat.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  30. #30
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    This is amazing! I was born and raised here... I've heard of Gila Monsters being out here but yet to see them.
    I actually just saw my first horny toad in like 10 years yesterday evening, another dieing breed it seems... he pissed on me when I tried picking him up though. I have that same issue when it comes to approching wild animals, I would have tried to pick the gila monster up also. haha

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubo
    This is amazing! I was born and raised here... I've heard of Gila Monsters being out here but yet to see them.
    I actually just saw my first horny toad in like 10 years yesterday evening, another dieing breed it seems... he pissed on me when I tried picking him up though. I have that same issue when it comes to approching wild animals, I would have tried to pick the gila monster up also. haha
    Yet to see a Gila Monster? What trails are you riding? I have been seeing about 2 a week down here in Tucson. Yesterday, I almost ran over one b/c it was on the trail and it looked like a stick.

  32. #32
    "Yabut"
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    Quote Originally Posted by azepicriderandrunner
    Yet to see a Gila Monster? What trails are you riding? I have been seeing about 2 a week down here in Tucson. Yesterday, I almost ran over one b/c it was on the trail and it looked like a stick.
    They are way more common down here in Tucson. Not that many up north. They have the Chuckwalla (sp?), and we don't.
    ~Aaron~
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyBike'sBroken
    They are way more common down here in Tucson. Not that many up north. They have the Chuckwalla (sp?), and we don't.
    you mean the kookaburra?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubo
    I actually just saw my first horny toad in like 10 years yesterday evening, another dieing breed it seems... he pissed on me when I tried picking him up though.
    Yeah, the horned lizard/toad has a delicate niche in the environment. People think that they are cute and take em home to keep as pets. Then they scratch their head and wonder why it died. These guys feed on/are dependent on a certain type of ant to survive. I believe it has something to do with ascorbic acid they get from the ants. Awesome looking creatures though! I've seen em all over AZ from Flagstaff to Rio Rico.
    It's only skin, it'll grow back!!

    Save the drama for your mama!!!

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  35. #35
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPIDERS
    Then they scratch their head and wonder why it died. I believe it has something to do with ascorbic acid they get from the ants.
    they die from scurvy from a lack of vitamin C??

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike
    they die from scurvy from a lack of vitamin C??
    Something like that. If they were smarter, they would eat lemons.
    It's only skin, it'll grow back!!

    Save the drama for your mama!!!

    Porkchop Sandwiches!

  37. #37
    livin' the dream......
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    Saw one on the long loop at McDowell last year. Pretty sweet.

  38. #38
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    Saw this one and two chuckwallas on Pinnacle Peak trail on Monday. These pics don't hold a candle to yours, DD. What kind of camera did you use? And you are CRAZEEE to pick it up!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Gila Monster-2010-05-10_0704.jpg  

    Gila Monster-2010-05-10_0710.jpg  


  39. #39
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I fully endorse handling poisonous animals.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  40. #40
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    Thanks for the great pics DD. Second one is my new background on my phone.

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