[pct-l] Close encounters with rattlesnakes

Reinhold Metzger reinholdmetzger at cox.net
Wed Apr 8 05:23:22 CDT 2009

You can add me to that exclusive "Stepping on Rattlesnakes Survivors Club".
I stepped on one at "Shinumo Creek" in the Grand Canyon a few years ago and had several other
close encounters over the years.
I can proudly say "I am one of the few who stepped on a rattler and did not get bitten.
I have encountered more rattlers at Shinumo Creek than anywhere else.
I think that one was trying to get of the trail and could not whip around fast enough because 
his front half was in a bush.

Since we were a good 2-3 days from the trail head, it could have been a major medical problem.
I know, I know, some of you guys will say "big deal", rattlesnake bites are hardly ever fatal.
Yes, yes, but that is only because 99% of all rattlesnake bites receive medical treatment 
within 24 hours....the risk greatly increases when medical treatment is delayed.

My problem is that I can't hear their rattle...lost high frequency hearing in the USMC (to many
Bazooka Rounds in Vietnam).
I have this problem all the time, my wife saying "listen to the birds"...What birds?
But, that's alright, it's a small price for having served my country at a time of war.
Some guys paid a much higher price....came back without arms or legs, or did not come back 
at all.
Besides, I would not have met Karen, my wife, had I not served.
She is well worth the high frequency loss....I would not trade her for all the high frequency
in the world.

So watch your step & turn up the high frequency in the desert.

JMT Reinhold
What's that?

AsABat wrote:
When hiking at night in the desert on warm evenings, IMO you really need
some kind of light unless the moonlight is extra bright. It's not so
much seeing the trail, it's seeing the rattlesnakes that might be
hanging out waiting for dinner to stroll by. Don't be paranoid, but be

Now, I haven't heard of anyone actually having a problem in this way,
but I did once know a guy who actually stepped on one that was warming
itself on a asphalt road near Warner Springs and got bit. Actually, he
did it two years in a row. Even better, he was a nature instructor.


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