Grinding my way up My Nemesis.
Altho' you can't tell, this is actually a long hill.
H has been doing a lot of climbing on his road bike lately and his legs were feeling it. He still crushes me on everything - uphills, downhills, flats - but this time he didn't pull away quite as far as he usually does. He still managed to ride right up Hammerhead (Pladsen) Hill and looked strong doing it. For me, my bike-handling sucked (I think I was having trouble focusing and kept letting my mind wander, which is a total no-no for me on a MTB) but I was climbing really well. I did the best I've ever done on My Nemesis, not even having to shift all the way down for a change; rode all but three of the Sweet Sixteen switchbacks (and it should have been all but two except I - again - lost focus and put my foot down on one corner I usually ride with no problem); and made it all the way up the Staircase. H is a good coach: before we got to the Staircase, we pulled over and he reminded me, "Remember, when you get to the car, shift down and pedal like a [redacted*]." I did just what he said and rode right up the three rises. And he was right there at the top, cheering me on.
Animal sightings: hawks, buzzards (at one point, there were five of them, circling above me), songbirds, a bison and a zebra. Yes, a zebra. There's a small ranch on the way to the RV trails where the guy has a pet bison and a pet zebra in amongst the llamas and goats.
* Because this is a family-friendly blog. But you get the gist.