Snakes on a Trail

No, this is not a bad Samuel L. Jackson sequel. Though take a second and picture that. Sammy ascends a mountain,  wearing a Camelback, gaiters and trail shoes, uttering things like “Bleep this bleepity bleepity hill!” and “Who put those bleepin’ rocks there?” and “Where the bleep is the bathroom?” I think that movie would be doomed to fail.

No, this post is my rant about snakes. I hate them. I fully understand that I run I am in THEIR territory. I am a guest in their ‘hood. I still hate them. I know they aren’t slimy, but something about them cuts to my core and makes me want to vomit. I think it’s their lack of legs. I’m fine with lizards, salamanders, iguanas and dinosaurs. They don’t bother me at all. But snakes, snakes do.

Two weeks ago I ran from just above Carlisle to Duncannon and then back to Marysville with my friend Ryan. I’ve run those areas many times and never saw one of those slithery creatures. At the Appalachian Trail work center, where we met, there was a notebook in which hikers wrote. One mentioned snakes on the trail. Ryan was more than happy to point that out to me. But the entry was from September, and he said we’d be fine. Of course you know we saw one. He was a big ‘un. I squealed like a 6 year old girl and quickly entertained thoughts of bailing on the 23 mile run, only 2.5 miles into it. Thankfully Ryan was not a wuss. He found a stick and guided the snake – who by then was coiled up in strike position – off the trail. I scooted past Ryan, thanked the snake for letting me run on the trail, and hustled up the mountain. Ew.

Today my friend Anne was running 40 miles, and I tagged along for the first 30. We were happily running along, chatting about total nonsense. Since she was right in front of me, I wasn’t paying much attention to the trail. She hopped over a root, as did I, except that as I did so I realized it was not a root at all. It was the ass end of a snake. I again squealed like a 6 year old girl and this time followed it up with something I NEVER say. It was so bad that I immediately told Anne I needed to go to confession. I’m not even Catholic.

So if we are hanging out and you see a snake, please get me the bleep out of there.


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