At Three Forks we marveled at the faint line of an 1800s military road zig-zagging up the opposite steep canyon. As we eagerly ate our rehydrated freeze-dried meals, we contemplated how they got their wagons up there, when we had so much trouble on this side descending a 12% grade into the canyon with bikepacking bikes.
When Scott continuously motioned me with an unusual hand sign, I knew I needed more information. He was warning me that a sun-bathing rattler Genevieve and Kevin had passed was now coiled in the center of the road. A circular detour through the brush was a logical way to avoid this native, though my thoughts suddenly focussed on where there might be more of his kind as I shouldered my loaded bike through the brush. We succeeded in avoiding man, but our new engagement with nature seemed unnatural. Even cattle interactions were at times stressful!
Bikepacking is elevated by a great route and natural comradery. Yet any tour seems to have the chapter construction of a story. The last day is often the best as one realizes the escape from daily work-life is about to end. I pondered the preceding chapters and bathed with perfect weather in the enjoyment of the now with reflection all around. And, thoughts of the next story!