Getting humbled, one way or another

A Bat, a Horse and a Bike October 4, 2010

Filed under: Biking — sarahallen24 @ 8:02 pm

The desire for a random spin on my bike took me to the Little Bookcliffs Wild Horse area on Saturday. This is a large canyon area that is only one of three areas in the U.S. specifically set aside for wild horses. It also provides access to the rim of the Bookcliffs that overlook the Grand Valley. I’ve heard there’s a backroad that can access Mt. Garfield. So I set out to explore.

I was by myself therefore lacking someone to verify this little incident…but I’m not making stuff up. While taking a break at a trail junction I saw something fairly large flutter through my peripheral vision and land on the ground right next to me. It took a few seconds for me to realize I wasn’t looking at a butterfly but at a bat. A very confused bat…being it was noon. He was really cute actually. Very fuzzy with little ears and he kept sticking his tongue out. Just when I reached to get my camera, he flew up and tried to land on my leg. Now I didn’t think I was afraid of bats…but honestly, I screamed a little. The sonar blast put him on a hard bank left turn away from me. I started laughing at myself when he swooped back and tried to land on my leg again. You’d think I’d have my act together on the second time, but I didn’t. So I screamed again. Based on his behavior and what I’ve read today online, there is some risk that he had rabies. So maybe the screaming wasn’t such a bad thing.

After my little friend took off, I continued up Coal Canyon. Having not looked at a map previously, I really wasn’t sure where I was headed. I just kept staying left figuring that would be closest to the edge of the cliffs. Eventually I found a very steep ATV/horse road that led straight up a ridge. My eyes and curiosity were a little bigger than my energy capacity…but my summit complex always wins. I really have no idea why I pushed my bike all the way up that hill. It probably took me almost half an hour and the hill was too steep and full of loose shale to ride down.

Nearing the top, I spotted a small group of wild horses watching me.

My curiosity was satisfied once I arrived on top. I had missed Mt. Garfield by one ridge but had a great view of the valley.

Looking down

The Grand Mesa

On my way down the horses thought they wanted a better look at me and started running to me. I thought maybe that wasn’t the best thing in the world despite how cool they are. I actually said aloud, “Don’t mind me horsies I’m just a girl pushing her bike around.” They must have understood because they stopped.

For a random Saturday spin, it turned out rather interesting.


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