Rattlesnakes and Runnin’

Well, it’s been a while since I posted. My ankle is finally almost back to normal. Training full volume on it and taking a minimalist approach to taping it to prevent a re-roll. Skipped out on Miwok last weekend to give it another week to heal before racing on it. Plus, I inadvertently entered it back in January without looking at the EXACT date. My 11th Anniversary. Whoops! Needless to say, my wife likes me a little better for choosing her over a 100k.

Well, it’s snake season with our late spring finally showing up. I hopped over one at a training run yesterday at Smith Rock, climbing up Burma Road. And I soon found out it was a sign. After that hard hill run yesterday evening, I came home to my son running up to the car yelling, “DAD! I STEPPED ON A RATTLESNAKE!” What?!

My first thought was that he didn’t know what he saw. However, 5 year olds are much sharper than most folks give them credit for and I had showed him photos of rattlesnakes over the winter and informed him we have them around Central Oregon and if he ever saw one get away. Now that we were on a farm and not in a nice little privacy yard in town anymore, I wanted him to know what to look for.

I asked him “really?” He insisted it was a rattler. Sure enough, my wife confirmed it by catching it with a stick and putting it in a box. She actually didn’t think it was a rattlesnake until after she got it in the box and it started rattling at her. City girl is becoming country. Giddyup!

Sure enough, it was a yearling (one rattle). Young one’s can be the most dangerous to small animals and children, as they don’t have control of their venom yet and will release ALL of it upon one bite.

Bad news for my young kids if they were bitten. Most will not bite unless startled or provoked, but I guess he stepped on it while playing on the edge of the yard in the taller grass. A little too close for comfort. The irrigation channels and ditches are now running and there’s quite a bit of water around the property now. So, it’s bringing some varmits in.

The whole incident brought me back to my farm days growing up and I did what any farmer would do, disposed of it. With two younger kids running around, I decided better safe than sorry to prevent another accidental encounter that might not end so nicely. And, if one thing I learned growing up in the country, snakes have a territory and if you see one once, you’re going to see them again. Non-poisonous snake I welcome. Rattlesnake…nope. Sorry little guy. Snake heaven for you. Oh, the drama.

Well, I’m off to Seattle this weekend. Jennifer’s sister is due any day with my new nephew and we’re hoping the baby shows up this week. It would be perfect timing. I’m also going to sneak away to Bellingham on Saturday to test out the ankle on some muddy, technical terrain and run The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler.

Should be fun, as I’m looking forward to hanging out with Dagan and Krissy. Will be fun to get back up to run around Chuckanut Mountain. Hope TNF has been working on course markings. Their races last season were notoriously poorly marked. You can bet I’ll be ranting if it’s not marked well, as the Chuckanut area is riddled with old logging roads, criss-crossing trails and tons of intersections. It could get ugly for participants if the markings are weak. Here’s hoping.

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