Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trail of Fears

Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little me's afraid of. Seriously. I HATE SNAKES!!!

Let's back up to the beginning... Big-D is like totally into trail running. If you don't know what this is, don't feel bad. Neither did I until recently. Anyway, it's running on hiking trails, y'know like in the mountains, hills, over-the-river-and-thru-the-woods type of thing. You should see him in his running shorts... er, um, sorry...back to the story. So Big-D runs a few times a week, and sometimes I go with him. HOLD ON - I must clarify that I am NOT a trail runner-- I can barely run up a flight of stairs without having a coronary, and I only go when he does his "short" runs. We start off at the same point, and he will run about 8 miles while I "hike" about 4. When I get to my half-way point I head down the mountain, so we end up in the same place around the same time.

So, last night we got a late start due to some earlier distractions. The sun was already setting, the wind was picking up, and there were threats of scattered thunderstorms as we started off. He's worried I might get struck by lightning plus it is getting dark, and I didn't bring my son's headlamp. Since I have a headache anyway, I tell him I will only go about a mile or so instead of my usual 4 , then come back down. It pacifies him. So, the warrior takes off to punish the trail, and I put in my earphones to engage in my nightly affair with John Mayer . I get to the first cliff, and turn to come back down. I take my time, knowing I have plenty of it, and am just sort of strolling along, singing with my boy John, and all of a sudden I see it front of me. A slithering, slimy, verrrrry long snake! Eww! Gross! Sort of an S shape. He was at least 4' long, probably longer when stretched out.

I scream loud enough to shake the entire valley below. Mr. Snake stops, turns, and looks at me!!! CRAP!!!! I freeze! I can't breathe. I rip my earphones out of my ears to see if I can hear rattling. But the wind is blowing loudly through the weeds and trees around me and it is too dark to see the Make & Model of this serpent. I begin to tremble. I have this fear of snakes that I cannot explain. I am paralyzed for a brief moment, but realize I can't just stand there either. Being that there is only one way back to the car (without hiking up and around on another 6 mile trail that I am not familiar with), I turn around and head back up the trail.

I find a place where my cell phone has reception. I execute an S.O.S. text to Big-D. It does not send. "WARNING! LOW BATTERY -- RECHARGE NOW! POWERING DOWN" What??? No Freakin' Way!!! I turn the phone on and off a few times and retry sending the text. Finally, "SENDING COMPLETE". Whew. At least this way maybe Big-D will be sure to come back down the way he started, instead of looping around the other way. Plus, if I get bitten and die, he will know why.

I check my watch. about 30 or 40 minutes till I expect to see Big-D again. I stay in an area of the trail that is wide and pretty well-lit, due to the lights of Salt Lake City below reflecting off the plethora of clouds above. I pace back and forth about 500 feet. I try to talk myself into heading back towards the car, telling myself Mr. Snake is no longer there. I turn and begin to walk back down, but just before the dark, narrow bend, I stop short. Nope. Can't do it. Not alone at least. I repeat this pattern several times, checking my watch at about 5 minute intervals. After about 30 minutes have past, I look up at the crest hoping, praying that I will see Big-D's headlamp any second. C'mon...show me the light! Whew, and there it is. Thank you, Lord, I utter with relief. I knew from the time I saw his spec of light it would be another 10 minutes before he reached me.

Apparently, he received my text and tried to call me. When I didn't answer due to the dead phone, he worried that something had happened (got bit, passed out, etc.). Isn't that sweet? I am glad when he finally arrives. I grip his arm as he practically has to drag me past the point of the serpent-sighting. Alas we make it to the safety of his Tahoe, and back to the safety of home. Yay!

Big-D tells me afterwards that there are these certain type of spiders that also come out on the trail at night and their eyes glow and reflect off the light from the headlamp. He decided that chances are I would step on them on crush them without knowing anyway, so no point in scaring me by telling me about them beforehand. Ewww! I need a shower. I just gave myself the willies again!

I was gonna post a pic of a snake and/or spiders for effect, but just googling it grossed me out enough. I trust you can all use your imaginations on this one. Needless to say, if I EVER hit the trail at night again, my phone will be 100% charged, I will have a headlamp, and possibly even a walking stick with a very sharp point at the end!

60 comments:

RhondaLue said...

ACK! Snakes! I was actually about to blog about an encounter I had with a scorpion on my nightly walk last night. Now it'll just look like I stole material so nevermind. lol

So I have a question for you: I saw your ticker on your blog that you've lost a bunch o' weight. way to go, no easy task for sure!!! congrats! Now on to the question part, you still wanna lose 45 lbs??? Um in your profile pic you look perfectly skinny...u goin' for the skin n bones look?

Willeyes said...

I am 100% with you on this one. I can't even go into the stupid snake exhibit at the zoo without freaking out. We've seen three at our house lately :} Yikes!!! I don't even like to see them on TV. How sweet "Big-D" saved you though...that at least made it worth it:)

Ashley said...

I just shuddered....eeehhh! I'm glad you made it back safely!

EmmaP said...

rhondalue...you are so sweet! Um...let's just say the profile pic is a HEAD shot and i dont really need to lose the pounds in my face - haha.

Mel - have you considered that Maggie may be barking at snakes??? I wish you hadnt told me you found three. were they in the yard between our houses??? eww - need another shower!

purplehaze said...

I am with you on the spiders and snakes thing, ewww. I think that I hate spiders worse though, as long as the snake is in a cage I don't have a problem with it and I don't have to look at it, but I wouldn't want to find one along a trail either!!!

Tulsi said...

EEEEEKKKK. I hate snakes and worms. Yuck. I was mowing the lawn once and Steve threw a plastic snake at me, thinking it would be funny. The funny thing was him trying to break into the house with out the neighbors catching on after I locked him out. Lesson? Mom never thinks snakes of any kind are funny.

Carol said...

May I suggest moving to England? Where we have no deadly snakes/spiders/bugs in general.

Or stay where you are and enjoy a perfectly good reason not to go out on those night time runs.

Blog Stalker said...

Snakes! I hate Snakes! Why did it have to be Snakes?!
-Indiana Jones

Apparantly you two have something in common.

Puphigirl said...

Thank you for not including pictures of spiders.
-Your sister, the arachniphobe

"The Queen in Residence" said...

I too hate snakes and the kids adopted one this summer and I freaked. It was everywhere that I was and that was not good cause most of the time I had bare feet and it was under them. Good times though and good stuff for a posting.

Momma Trish said...

Yeah, I'm not good with snakes either. Or spiders. Ick! Have you checked out The Bloggess? She's got a post up about a snake that was under her car. Hilarious read, on a subject close to home.

Visiting from SITS. I like your blog. It looks almost exactly like mine. I was a little confused at first!

Rachel Ann said...

Ohh..you lost me when I read snakes and then I read running! UGH!!! I did read on though!

I saw a snake show at a zoo in Thailand, and let me tell you that other cultures have no problem with letting snakes getting close to the family jewels...ick, ick, ick!!

Yaya said...

Yeah, that would be my last time hiking! No way I would get back out there w/ possessed spiders.

jewelstreet said...

It was the spiders that got me. I have shivers now. I don't ever want to see a spider that is big enough and can reflect the light from a headlamp.

April said...

Oh, how awful!! I hate snakes and spiders!! Don't know if I'd ever go back on that trail!

HeatherY said...

Snakes give me a severe case of the willies. You are brave for even going back!

Mimi said...

Erg! Snakes are so creepy!

Reluctant Housewife said...

Ew... creepy. I hate spiders. Shudder.

I like the way you use different colours on certain keywords.

KC Mom said...

I had a similar experience with a snake a few weeks ago...couldn't get my toes to uncurl for the rest of the day!

Debbie Y. said...

Well don't go rambling through my older blog posts cause there are a few pics of a rattler that my dear hubby caught and put in a bucket to show me. Like I wanted to see it. Sheesh! But he was doing the "MANLY" dance and I couldn't very well deflate his ego now could I. I detest all things slimy, creepy crawly as well.

Heather said...

.....so, I probably shouldn't tell you about the LARGE snakeskin I found caught on the edge of my kiddo's sandbox in the back yard this past summer, one afternoon while mowing the lawn, should I.....

By the way, HAPPY SITS DAY! Hope you get smothered in commenty love!

mrsbear said...

Glad your survived to entertain us with your tale. Happy SITS day.

Melissa Lester said...

Ooh, I hate snakes too! I have seen a few in our house surrounded by woods, but when I have tried to find out what kind they are online, I wind up feeling sick to my stomach and can't look at the pictures. A friend of mine had to kill a poisonous snake in her kitchen once when her husband was away, so I have tried to prepare myself that sometime I might have to take care of one myself. But that would only take place with lots of screaming! Then much shopping to get rid of the nightmares!

cat said...

IO can take spiders but I can not stand to even look at the picture of a snake! And you know I live in South africa where the deadliest snake in the world, the balck mamba resides. No wonder.

wendy said...

You impressed me with the fact that you go on these jaunts in the first place. I had a hard time getting past that! LOL!

Glad you made it home safely! :)

Happy SITS day!

Creative Junkie said...

this is why nature and I will never be on a first name basis.

Jaden Paige said...

I don't mind spiders or snakes, as long as they're not after me! :D

ugagirl30 said...

O.M.G.!!! I would have fainted, fallen, hit my head, and then rolled down until I was right in the snakes path at which time I would have been swallowed whole by a snake that normally does not eat humans. That's just the way I roll.

Vickie said...

Oh, I got the itchies now.

Kristy said...

oh geez i would have peed my pants! i hate snakes!

Katie said...

Before I had kids, I used to walk 4 miles everyday into a canyon--a mountain lion canyon. It used to bother my husband, and every time he went with me, we were armed. I used to laugh at him. I took our HUGE dog and figured if a mountain lion were to come, the dog would start fighting, and I'd have a couple minutes to run like a bat out of hell. Never had a problem...did see a snake once as well...hate snakes!

Rhea said...

spiders and snakes, oh my. Scary stuff!

Paige said...

Snakes do not bother me too much other than the initial startle at seeing one.

The husband on the other hand is terrified but he is scared of BABY SNAKES the most. Recently he was all hepped up about hacking one up and I told him that was unnecessarily cruel for petes sake--then he showed it to me--four inch long baby. He almost pissed himself

good lord

Kate said...

Yucky Ducky, as we like to say around here! I don't the greatest fear of snakes, but one time my little brother found a garter snake in the yard, and he threw it at my head. He had good aim too. I am putting all his naked baby pictures in the local newspaper for his high school graduation as some serious payback.

angie said...

Just gotta say thanks for not posting pics!!

Blue Castle said...

I can't handle snakes. Shudder. Glad you weren't alone and able to be rescued. :)

Laural Out Loud said...

I hate spiders! The glowing eyes would'be given me a heart attack.

Melodie said...

I like snakes, but not when I'm out in the woods. There's no time to stop and identify whether or not that particular snake is friend or foe.

Nina said...

I would have been right their with you. Snakes are so gross and the idea of having one that close... no thanks!

Mrs. S said...

Apparently my mom shares the same fear. We were at her house & a snake came on (We were watching Gone in 60 Seconds) and she left the room. What? I lived with her my whole life & didn't realize this fear.

I don't mind snakes if they keep their distance.

Spoiled Mommy said...

Zoikes!
I would have freaked...we found a snake in our backyard that was abut 6 feet...I flipped out!

Jenni said...

I also hate snakes and spiders. I have a five year old who snakes hunts in our yard with her neighbor friend and they bring us their victims in buckets. EWWW. They are only garter snakes, but still. I. Can't. Take. It.

Momma Drama said...

Eww, you gave ME the willies.

Tabitha Blue said...

OMG, that is freaky, and crazy, and scary, and ewwww! Yuck. So glad you didn't DIE on that hike!

Tiffany said...

I am right there with you, girl. EXTREME phobia. Once when I was little I screamed and froze, and some guys had to swim across the river and climb up the river bank to grab me and run me away from a snake that was headed my way. I just don't deal well with snakes. YUCK.

Mama Kat said...

Oh my gosh I am dying. Love this story...I suppose you won't be going on another hike any time soon...

Marrdy said...

You did hear about the folks that went hiking in the spring "in these parts" and their dogs got bit by rattle snake???

I hate snakes too and spiders!

Plus I just discovered you live "in these parts"! How very cool! Now I will really have to do some serious stalking!

blueviolet said...

I have a similar feeling about insects of all kinds.

Thanks for the peek into your blog today from SITS. I'm bookmarking and I'll be back!

Michelle said...

Oh that makes me giggle. And I bet you're freaked out enough by snakes that you've never petted one. they're actually not slimy at all... they're like one huge big muscle. Ok, they ARE one huge big muscle actually.... love it :)

The Boss Lady said...

Dear Emma's snake,

You can come hang out with me anytime...as long as you annihilate those wretched crickets & moths that terrorize me around the house.

Sincerely,
The Boss Lady

We all have different fears, don't we? :)

ScrappinAway said...

oohh, my skin is doing the creepy crawlies! I probably wouldn't go back anytime soon!

littleeverydaythings said...

Ugh, I hate snakes too!

Mari said...

I don't mind snakes too much although I'm not sure how I'd handle one in the wild. I suppose I'd stay still until it passes which could mean hours and hours of an agonizing wait. Or getting bit and dying a slow painful death. I guess I should rethink this...

Blicky Kitty said...

Ewww snakes! Scarrryy! I love your quote near the Amish funeral procession. That part of it really struck me too...so admirable.

LaTonya Yvette said...

Congrats on your SITS Day! Just the thought of a snake makes me freak out

Lavender n Latt├ęs said...

OMG! I'm beginning to think you are my long lost twin! Snakes and spiders are my biggest ones, too! I live in So. Calif. and last summer I had 2 diamond back rattlers on my front porch as well as another one the summer before that! This year, I've been fighting spiders all summer/fall! I'm getting creeped out again - hurry up in that shower - will ya? I need to take one too!

Saundra@An Italian Mama Gone Crazy said...

Snakes are by far the MOST hideous creature ever to slither on earth.

No wonder God made it Satan.

Anna Lefler said...

Eeuwww! I hate snakes, too!

[shudder]

Hope you had a great SITS day! Your blog is terrific!

:^) Anna

Momma Chae said...

My husband and friends tease me for occiasionally stomping my feet and making loud noises while trail running... but hey, I am not about to surprise a snake, mountain lion, bear, if I can help it! It's common sense to be afraid of these things, I think.

Rachael said...

I was doing okay until the bit about the spiders with reflecty eyes. ARGH!