The fire which had swept through the Buffalo Creek area, a year earlier, had completely changed the feel of the trails in the burn area. On our first trip through, after the trails had been reopened, we all felt a little off-kilter.
The track, itself, was familiar. We had all ridden there, so much, that the twists and turns, ups and downs, were all burned into out brains. We could all easily ride this area at night, with no lights, if we felt like it. But still, it felt odd to ride through a formerly heavily-wooded area, and have unobstructed views for miles in each direction.
The sun seemed to be hotter, with no forest canopy to shade us. And the wind seemed to blow a bit harder, with no brush to shield us. Still, we were all having a great time.
Eventually, after seeing numerous pieces of what looked like frayed white rope on the side of the trail, I signaled everyone to stop, so that I could check one out. Up close, it was obviously not rope. Rather, it was a bunch of individual white filaments of what looked to be glass.
We all scratched our heads and talked about what these things might be. Finally, it struck me. Fiberglass!
The BLM trail signs in the area are flat pieces of fiberglass lath, with instructions or trail names painted or stickered on them. These signs had been through a forest fire, where the resin around the glass fibers had burned away and left these bundles of glass fiber lying on the ground.
Signs of change.