Friday, March 30, 2007

FR 609 and Coatimundi

Long ride, but nice! Today we Jeeped FR 609 with friends Jean & Larry. It's a long trail, taking several hours to complete. Prescribed burning by the Forestry Service has drastically changed some of the landscape since we were last there and dead pine tree branches littered the trail. One pine tree had fallen across the trail so Larry & Ralph used a bit of muscle, a dull hacksaw and a bruise on Ralph's butt (and his dignity) to get the trail cleared so we could proceed. Jean & I cheered them on (without our moral support, they couldn't have accomplished the task). The road was deeply rutted and quite muddy in places from the recent heavy rains in the high country but all in all, it was quite passable.
We've never ridden FR 609 without seeing unusual critters, today was no exception. Leisurely walking down the trail in front of our Jeep, we came across a White-Nosed Coatimundi. I didn't know what it was until Larry identified it. It's got the appearance of a huge raccoon crossed with a large cat. It let us snap a few pictures from within the confines of the Jeep before sauntering away at his own pace.
FR 609 gives travelers a taste of all types of terrain, mountainous, cliffs, fabulous vistas, flat pastureland and open meadows with trail conditions ranging from a Sunday drive to grit your teeth, hold on tight, rocky climbing.