Well this evening I was out in the George Washington National Forest finishing up on ride when I ran over, or at least I think I did, my first Timber Rattler. This ride is about 50 minutes, uphill most of the way, and only 15 minutes back. So I was flying on my ride back. It was about 7:30 or so and getting dark in the shadows of the trees.
The trail section was very rocky and I was picking and choosing my path. Focusing a very short distance ahead trying to pick up large rocks from smaller ones in the reduced lighting (sun glasses didnt help the situation). All I heard was a loud, and I mean a loud, rattle, but it sounded strange from anything Id equate with a Rattler. It sounded almost like a locust. But I thought it still might be a snake. I dismounted about 15 yds from where I thought the sound was coming from, when it stopped.
I carefully walked up the trail and it started back up again, and there he was. One pissed off snake. He was smack in the middle of the trail and his coloring made it impossible to see him. Only his being coiled and rattling like crazy gave him away. The sound was faster and not the slower paced sound Id heard on documentaries. I think this was because from what I could see his rattle wasnt as long as Id seen on those other snakes. This guy was a teenager maybe.
I either ran over him, or just skimmed him, but he would have been fired up bad news if someone would have been riding behind me. I never saw him and would not have been able to shout any kind of warning, and worse yet a buddy might have stopped right on top of him.
That time of the evening was a perfect time to bump into one. I won't be riding that trail for awhile and certainly not at that time of day. I hate snakes, and this guy was really mean looking. Im going for some fire roads next time out. At least you can see whats out there ahead of you.