Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I had my first encounter with a rattlesnake yesterday. I was running with the Rogue trail group in St Edwards park. We were on the last loop at dusk. Actually, someone had moved a flag marking our route, I took a wrong turn and ended up cutting part of the loop out. In a downhill section I was running on the right edge of the trail to give someone behind room to pass, when I heard the rattle and the snake lifted his head a few feet in front of me by the side of the trail. By the time I stopped and stepped back, I was within a yard. The 5-foot snake stood there coiled by the side of the trail with his head lifted a foot off the ground, sticking out his tongue and rattling his tail. The runner who was passing me continued straight, didn't look back, and might have run her fastest downhill ever.

The snake must have been heading down to the watering hole for its evening meal, and about to cross the trail when we approached. It blended into the surroundings so well along with the shadows I never would have noticed it if it did not make noise. This will give me something to think about next time I step off the trail. Another runner prodded the snake with a very long stick until moved moved far enough from the trail we felt safe to pass.

But this got me thinking what should be done in case I am around anyone who is bitten. I found some good information half-way down the page here.

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1 comment:

  1. We have rattlesnake encounters often here. They stop me in my tracks every time. I was surprised at some of the advice first time I heard it, like not sucking out the venom. I guess that's an old Hollywood trick.


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