Yes I was born in the city. Yes I’m a city girl through and through, I love the comforts of home. Running hot, and cold water. Air conditioning, and forced heat. Bugs on the outside, me on the inside. But I also I love nature. I love hiking our three knuckleheads. Under one condition….I prefer to go where I know there are no killer insects, snakes etc, etc. Like the beach, of the ravine near our house in Toronto. Except last year, while heading to LA I read the Year of Yes, and decided that this was something I truly needed to do in my life. Say “yes” more. So I made the commitment.
Keeping this new mantra of mine in mind, I said yes to a hike in the mountains behind our California house, where I happen to know there are snakes. But I can’t go back on my brand new commitment, of saying “yes” to things that scare me. Will I join Yannick, and our two nephews, visiting from Toronto, on a hike through the mountains behind our home?
“Why yes of course I’ll go.” And off we went. Kohl, who is rangy, and has more energy than five dogs put together, was running up ahead of us, by a lot. Mack was with me, going at his old man pace, and Duke was slobbering, panting, shuffling his way UP HILL, since that’s the direction home is.
I hear it first.
It sounded like one of those cicada beetles.
Kohl was already up the switch back staring down at me, as I got closer to the sound, I realized that it wasn’t a cicada at all. Even though I’m a city girl, I could tell it was a rattlesnake, sending his rattling warning. Sure enough as I turned the corner, there it was coiled up dead center of the hiking trail. Kohl up above, and the rest of us down below. Not a great scenario to have a young rambunctious pup in the middle of. I called out to Kohl to “SIT” and to “STAY!!” Surprisingly he did both. Then I hollered below for Yannick, who was dragging Duke up the rear while pointing out all his favorite bike jumps, etc, to our nephews.
When my three men, what the fuck was I doing leading the pack, with the wild pup in the first place, will forever, and always make me “go hmmm.” But 20/20 hindsight, there we were, Kohl on the hill above, the snake in the middle, and the rest of us just below. Keep in mind, at this point we still had no idea as to whether or not Kohl had flushed it out, or had literally jumped over him as he bounded along the path. My worry was that he had been bit, and if he hadn’t, if he broke his stay, and tried to make his way to us, there was a high chance if he wasn’t bit yet, he would be then
Yannick, and our eldest nephew had to act fast, to get rid of the snake…thank God they did…we ran up to Kohl, looked him over, called the vet. He told us IF he had been bit, what to look for, and in what time frame.
That was the last hike I ever took in the mountains behind my house.
Flash forward, nine months later, and here I am, in the jungle. I’ve been told by our lovely host of the retreat that there is nothing here, on this property, that can harm us. But, last month they had another mother daughter come, they went off site, and ate some berries, or flowers or something…why in the name of God they did that, I will never know, nor does he, but alas they did, and an ambulance was called. The main warning Dominique and I received upon arrival, do not eat something that doesn’t come from the kitchen.
So if the critters don’t get me, maybe the plant life will???