As Vermonters, we are accustom to mountain biking on root- and rock-studded single tracks through thick forests - fun, but not so great if sweeping vistas and endless sky is what you are looking for. This place, about a 15 minute drive west of Mone Vista, was absolutely stunning, and we never saw a single soul with the exception of a truck that came through near the end of our 3 hour ride.
The rock formations were striking. A turkey vulture swooped off a nearby cliff as we were readying our bikes. A smaller, black bird (a raven?) immediately took exception to its presence, and proceeded to screech and harass the much larger bird for several minutes, before both of them flew out of sight. After that, the only sound was the wind and our own voices. Such quiet - no planes, no cars - was something we had rarely experienced, even in our rural home state.
So we started our ride, beginning with a long false flat along a dirt road (we were still acclimating to the higher altitude), and then branching off to various dirt paths and roads. No wildlife to be seen, although we did come across some parched white bones - a rib and some vertebrae - at one point, and took a moment to find out that the large dirt piles were red ant colonies.
We climbed to the top of a plateau for a lunch break. Breathtaking views in all directions. As it was nearing 1 p.m., billowing clouds were approaching from the west, some of which most certainly would bring rain or thunderstorms. At one point, we arrived at a large, decrepit shack. I figured all that lumber would make for a great snake habitat, but, again, not a slithery creature in sight. (I didn't look too hard, however!) We eventually made our way back to the car, our legs well-decorated in mud from the occasional puddles along the way.