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Snakes and Other Dangerous Things

Posted 06-28-2012 at 07:41 PM by KatieGal


I am now a Yuma resident, and an avid hiker. During these days of summer I usually head out in the evening a couple of times a week. It can still be about 100 out there, but at least the sun isnít high in the sky, baking me. Anyway, Iím not about to sit inside until autumn.

I often hike alone. Two things worry me about that, especially when Iím hiking some distance. One is venomous snakes. Another concern is my being assaulted out on the trail by a human. I have run into rattlesnakes many times over the last eight or ten years. Most of the time I will spot them from a safe distance. For example, one might be lying on a rock surface alongside the trail. Iíll detour around him by fifteen or twenty feet and heíll be completely oblivious to my existence.

But I have accidentally set-off their rattles two or three times. The scariest of these experiences was when I leaned against a large rock to take a quick break and there was a diamondback rattlesnake on the ground behind me, in the shade under the rock. That ordeal spooked me. I didnít hike for a week or so after that one. Another time I came upon a sidewinder rattlesnake when I was going up an incline and I stopped to catch my breath. The average sidewinder is about 18 inches long and not much thicker than a human finger. The rattle of a sidewinder sounds completely different when compared to the rattle of a diamondback, for example. A sidewinderís rattle sounds like three or four big bees buzzing in unison. I at first did not see him, but when I heard the sidewinderís rattle I jumped back about ten feet and then promptly stumbled and somersaulted over backwards. When I heard that rattle, gracefulness was not my primary concern. Once I climbed back to my feet, I gingerly moved nearer the snake to take a closer look. I concluded that ten feet was close enough, and so did the snake. When I crept closer, he sounded his rattle, when I inched back a little, he stopped.

While hiking I also worry a bit about encountering some unfriendly human. Iím not exactly an imposing figure, and I carry no weapon except for a pocket knife. One of my tricks that I first utilized a few years ago was when I see a suspicious figure coming my direction, I will pull out my cellphone and act as though Iím carrying on a conversation. When I close in on the person, Iíll act as though Iím casually giving my location to the make-believe person with whom Iím supposedly conversing. Iíve pulled this stunt about a dozen times. On one or two occasion Iíll be chatting on the phone with no one, fully aware Iím in an area that has no cellphone service.

The day I feel fear is the day I cease doing the activities I love. So I refuse to feel fear. That is not to say I do not take precautions, and keep a wary eye.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    You wouldn't want to get too close to any snake. Me, personally? I'd just keep a reasonable distance.

    I need to get back to Arizona first chance I get.
    permalink
    Posted 06-30-2012 at 11:18 AM by malfunction malfunction is offline
  2. Old Comment
    My Cousin who moved to Arizona tells me how wonderful it is...

    Only problem is, every picture I have ever seen of Arizona, is all desert!! The only 'grass' I saw was a small patch that my cousin waters every day to keep it green, out of the whole desert I think!! sheesh.

    Now, I hear there are plenty of rattlers, and other critters crawling and walking along those paths...Naw!
    She aint gonna get me out there any time soon, thats for sure LOL...

    I want to stay where the trees are green, the grass grows wild, and the flowers bloom, in Ohio!

    I guess its true, different strokes for different folks... Diamnod backs...only on a set of cards

    I wish you well...

    Jesse
    permalink
    Posted 07-01-2012 at 10:30 AM by woodworkingmenace woodworkingmenace is offline
 

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