I was bored driving home the other day and I started thinking about snakes.; specifically rattlesnakes and how many snakes I’ve “encountered” in my life. So, how many snakes does a person encounter in their lives?
If you’re an outdoor kinda person, like me, and live in what was once the wild west then you might run into one “occasionally”. So I started thinking of all of my snake stories … then I started counting my snake stories … and I realized that I have had a heck of a lot of “encounters” (near & far) with rattlesnakes!
Disclaimer to this rattlesnake story: Back in the day … before hyper-parenting became the norm … I actually let my kids be kids. They hiked without me, they swam without me, they rode motorcycles without me, oh! they had lives without me. And! They didn’t die … this rattlesnake story is theirs … my interaction was limited to screaming from the camp below, hugging them when they returned and reassured them guardian angels are real.
In American Fork canyon after an afternoon picnic … I was studying, lying in the sun … the kids started hiking up a rock scree above the camp spot. Laughter and screams and rock slides were echoing across the canyon when I heard, “HOLD STILL”! “SNAKES”!
The screams became intense and I heard Clayton encouraging Angie to jump sideways and run, or something like that. I saw a cloud of dust and Angie slide to the bottom, screaming, “snakes, snakes”!
Then Clayton yelled, “I can’t move, they’re everywhere”! Anyway, I heard a scream and more rocks and dust billowed out of the trees as Clayton panted towards us. “Snakes! They were all around us! I just jumped! I don’t know how we got away from them”!
I know how they got away unharmed. I taught them of their guardian angels.
Shiver! Snake dens.
Then there was this time when my son Steve and I, were making our way along a path through a ponderosa forest in the dark. We had ran a couple of miles at dusk to catch a spectacular sunset from the Observation Point which over looks Zion National Park. Oh! You have to see a night in a ponderosa forest … it takes your breath away.
We had our flashlights kind of ahead on the trail, but flitted their pale lights over the trees, across the flats and into the canyon below; mostly we relied on a bit of moon light to make our way. All at once, Steve whipped around and shone his light on our back trail … one of the biggest rattlesnakes I’d seen was coiled RIGHT in the MIDDLE of the path we had just crossed .. it was less than 10 feet behind us!
CReeeeepy!! We grabbed one another’s hands and sprinted back to the truck, flashlights flipping back and forth in front of us; back and forth to the sides of us until we jumped into the truck and slammed the doors. I asked him what made him turn around? He whispered, “I felt something evil”.
Deep breath! Snakes on a path.
Then there was this time coming down from Mount Graham in Arizona in the middle of the day; the traffic was stopped. At least 10 cars or so and people were out all bunched up in front of the cars … I thought, car wreak? road construction? Nope! The biggest, most GINOURMOUS rattlesnake I’d ever seen was taking the sun across a full lane of traffic! From its tail laying on the dirt at the edge of the asphalt to it’s head almost touching the painted center line … it was just laying there, not a twitch. No one would drive over it, or get close enough to prod it along … I don’t recall how long it took before traffic started moving again. That snake was HUMONGOUS, it could have eaten a coyote!
Eyes wide! Snakes on a road.
And then there was this time that Sweetie and I were wading through a red rock slot canyon rain-filled pool when two snakes slithered down the rocks, into the water, and swam across the pool. I screamed, and tried to climb the rock wall … it was more than CRrrrreeeepy!
Dripping and shaking! Snakes in a pool!
Wow! I really do have a lot of snake stories! I have a lot more, but then you’d just think I was bragging.
Here’s a thought . Although snakes creep me out and danger is always a possibility … I’ve never been bitten by a rattlesnake, not even close. I was bitten by a garter snake I’d taken away from one of the kids. Like most everything that could be threatening … just be smart. Back away is always a good strategy … antagonizing a snake is never a smart thing to do.
So I’ve seen snakes on rocks, snakes on paths, and snakes under bushes. I’ve seen snakes stretched across roads, snakes hanging out by the front door or chilling in the garage, and yes, only once in a pool … but I’ve never, ever, no never seen snakes on a plane.
*Disclosure. These aren’t my snake pictures …