Rattlesnake Highway Hike
My last day in paradise, I decided to hike to Table Mountain, a unique feature in the Catalina Mountain range. It would take3 miles of trail then 1.5 miles of bushwhacking through fairly thick underbrush up a canyon before reaching the bottom of the "table" and then a very steep climb to the edge of the table, overlooking a few hundred foot drop. Within the first mile I saw a couple standing and yelling at me, "snake". I walked close to them and they told me it was at the base of a tree. Looking in and hearing the distinctive rattle, I did not see the snake. No, it sounded closer and to the right. The woman started to move and I barked, "Don't move until we've located the snake." She went anyway and then I saw it. Gosh, they blend in so well but out of strike range although it was coiled and ready. I tossed stones at it until it went away from the trail.
Soon thereafter, I ran into this guy, Tim who had just had his own encounter farter up the trail. He had looked away from he trail and then looking back, there was a rattler laying just where his foot was about to fall. He was able to alter his stride just enough to catch only the tail and then gathered himself and jumped away before the snake could strike. Later, Tim emailed me a few cool videos of other snake encounters. He has quite a collection.
The environment was a snake's wet dream. I slowed my pace to a crawl, watching, alert.
Ugh, tall grass right t the edge of the trail. There could be thousands of rattlers in there.
I reached a crude dam at about mile 3. There, I found a couple of guys taking a break and they had just seen another snake on the path where I had just tread. Now I decided going off trail would be a bad idea. I went a little farther to at least find where one leaves the trail to head towards Table Mountain but I di not find it.
So, at the 3.5 mile point, I turned around and walked slowly back to the trail head. Six weeks out here was a heck of a lot of fun and so much more to do but I'll be back, maybe June but if not, certainly November. Back to Ohio with the first order of business being to set up an alternative to the flat SPOT ride on Saturday. I can't do that route again, nothing personal to the ride leader.
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