We spent a portion of our weekend out in the desert lands of Utah, testing the UV-resistant abilities of our skin and the marvels the outdoor world has to offer us. Needless to say our pale outer layers yelled at us for more sunscreen and shade the entire time, but nature passed her test: she never fails to impress.
After a reconsideration of hiking the Fiery Furnace without permits, we found ourselves exploring the faux trail that leads to Delicate Arch, the Utah classic. Barefoot, thirsty, and eager to soak up some vitamin D, I was so happy to be outside and away from the hustle and bustle of the weekdays. However, my lack of shoes came back to bite me when I ran into my very first rattler.
The handsome husband and I had sidetracked to take pictures, and as we ran to catch up with our group I nearly stumbled upon this little baby punk hiding among the rocks. We were mere feet away from each other. I froze.
I'm a Florida girl; I caught snakes all throughout my childhood and well into adulthood, but I knew this guy wasn't a good thing to mess with, particularly because his small size indicated his potential youth and inability to control how much venom he would inject upon contact. It's incredible how adrenaline can make fifteen seconds feel like five minutes. I tensed every muscle in my body, anticipating movement from his scaly body while I raced through my options. Jump? Would I be quick enough? Would he follow my path and get me anyway? Stand still? For how long? Yell? Would he feel my voice vibrating through the air and rock and cause him alarm?
Ultimately I called the handsome husband over, though I know he hates snakes, but at least he's a Western boy and would know what to do. I ended up jumping, and not stopping there, until I had properly distanced myself from potential death. Post-identification, I think he looks like a Prairie Rattlesnake, but if I'm wrong I wouldn't be surprised. Great way to be introduced to rattlers, but hey, we made it out alive.
The sun sank down on our drive home, and I remembered what it was like to be exhausted and satisfied, yet simultaneously craving more adventure. As I drifted off to sleep that night, I was already planning our next escape in the back of my mind, praying for it to be a summer full of exploration and experience.
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