With a new bike rack to make our vagabond lifestyles more enjoyable we set forth on a adventure in the Paradise Valley. Our first choice was to go camping at the Tom Miner Campground.  We encountered a gate. The Road was not open yet.

We retooled and found ourselves at Daily Lake but not before encountering a moose. After the standoff, well not really, they really did not give two cents that we drove by, we found the lake. Encountering other humans it seemed there were two factions camping. One was the motor crowd and the other vee dubbed wind surfers. We opted for the nature preserve down the road for a little privacy. An encounter with some ranchers to make sure our stay was kosher was positive, but with a small rattlesnake warning.

We proceeded to encounter sandhill cranes, confused deer, and a elk that somehow missed the migration into the park. AND tons of birds. Hours spent with binoculars identifying colorful birds by the camp. And of course rain … and wind.

Private from humans indeed … but a pack of wolves seemed to feel the need to remind us at a 3 in the morning encounter that they were around. I feel asleep to the harmonizing of their howl on the ridge above us. It was comforting to know that they stood watch.

What they were trying to tell us was that we camped near a rattlesnake den. So I stood guard with a big stick as Mo packed up our vehicle. Why stand guard? Well … for some reason, and I have lived around these guys for a long time, this one deemed it necessary to double back and attack our camp table. It would slowly disappear in a hole and surface behind me. Only tipped off by the inhale necessary for it to coil I jumped in time. It failed to get me … but Mo had enough. That encounter prompted a moved to Chico Hot Springs.

Our last minute room request netted us with the one with the worst bed. Encountering the soft blob called a bed that sagged at least a foot I woke the next day with a bad back and the dryers downstairs rattling our dresser. The encounter with INDOORS was not positive.

Other then that other encounters were some direct climbs to the top of mountain suffer fests and punchy bike rides into the wilds. Lots of hot soaking in the evenings. Good coffee in the mornings. Enough ripped apart summits by grizzly bears to scare a person. You know the general stuff.

Did I mention I was sick with a cold the entire time?  Yea … still though … good times … good encounters.

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