Hiking in southern California with snakes

This picture has nothing to do with our hike in the mountains on Saturday or Sunday, those pictures are trapped on my iphone and the cord to download them? Way the heck across the room. I am in lazy mode this morning. Also, on the camera roll? A picture of the RATTLESNAKE that I almost stepped on yesterday. That’s the main reason I don’t want to get my camera. I’m not really sure I want to see his picture again, yet. He was maybe 4 feet long? I was walking along under the trees, looking at a squirrel and not paying any attention whatsoever and then glanced, AFTER I went past as he was shimmying away from exactly where I had just walked. I just froze and watched him, no more than 10″ from me when I first noticed him. He stopped about 8 feet away from me, curled up into a coil and sat all SPRINGY-like and tense as a cat. I’d like to say I was scared, but I was far too stunned and fascinated by the fact that I might have been bitten because I was such a freakin’ idiot.

I’m always so careful at home, in Albuquerque, when I’m out walking. But in NM, there’s a lot of sand and scrub-brush and sage so the snakes sort of stand out and say “hello”. I really feel mad at myself for not even paying attention, especially in a place with lots of trees and leaves all over the ground because he just blended right into the surroundings. Lesson learned. Now, I’m not only paranoid about bears and cougars rattlesnakes have been added to the list.

On Saturday we did about 8 miles of hiking up in the mountains, husband did maybe 10 (when it gets really grueling, he goes on and does his crazy thing and comes back and joins me) and on Sunday, 4, in a different place. I can’t remember where we were, there are hills and mountains all around us. I just get in the car and we go.

Saturday’s hike was moderately difficult until the last mile, which I swear, was straight downhill and then STRAIGHT uphill on the way back. It took 44 minutes to get up that one mile, that’s how steep it was. I was not-having-fun at that point. I ended up walking from one tiny patch of shade to the next, resting a minute and going on, just gutting it out until I finally climbed out of the pits of hell. And the gnats? They were especially gnatty on Saturday. I’ve never, ever hiked with that many bugs all trying to get into my eyes and mouth at once. I needed to wear my hat to keep from cooking my skull, but needed the hat to fan my face so I wouldn’t eat too many bugs.

Still, it was a wonderful hike. See this tree? This tree was at the top of that hill. I love this tree. It was a sign that maybe I would survive the hike.

After church in Tustin on Sunday, drove somewhere, about 40 minutes out and hiked up to a tiny fall. OK, hold on, I’ll go get the iphone. Sigh. (so of course, the first thing I did was to look at the snake. Shudder.)

Here are the falls:

We hiked to the falls, saw another large but safe snake, then headed up a hill that husband assured me wasn’t supposed to be all that hard. Wrong. When I died 3/4 of the way up the hill-in the white hot heat, I had to stop. I was starting to get nauseous and that’s usually a precursor for the MS kicking into gear. I had no intention of getting sick and spending a day in bed, so I left him to go on climbing the crazy high hill:

I headed back down the hill to the nature walk area and found a beautiful grove of trees that I swear, was like a cathedral. It was so, so lovely, but then I’m a sucker for trees.

I hiked on and found several long hills that were more moderately steep and climbed up and down those, enjoying the views and watching out for snakes. All in all it was wonderful. We spent the whole weekend outside. I hope your weekend was great as well. And now, it’s Monday, and I have a commission due so I must get me to work. Enjoy your Monday!

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About Fit Living Daily

I love healthy living! I've been married for 35 years and have 2 grown children, one in Albuquerque, NM and one in Washington state. We are currently living in Washington for my husband's job---until he FINALLY retires, but our house is in Albuquerque.
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3 Responses to Hiking in southern California with snakes

  1. Pingback: Hiking in southern California with snakes | Fit Living Daily | Artist News

  2. I’m so glad that you didn’t step on that snake and get bitten. I would have been scared to walk anywhere else but on sidewalks after that! That hike sounds really hard.

    Hope you have a great week.

  3. Pingback: Songbird by Kevin Asbjornson from the Nature Walk DVD

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