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!