By Amy Kathleen Miller

Every summer for a couple of years now, I would go hiking in the evenings during the week with my three kids and all our dogs.  It was fun to go and explore new trails and see what kind of scenery was at the end.

Curtis, Alicia, and Grant on a hike with our three dogs. (Photo By Amy Miller)

About two years ago, on one trail we went up to a bunch of huge rocks where you could see Salt Lake City in the valley below from high up in the mountains.  What an awesome view that was.  It was also in a place that could be dangerous if kids were careless.  The rocks were massively huge and jagged in some parts.  There were huge drop-offs into trees below.  It’s even scary to think about what could happen.  So I told the kids to be very careful and they were.

There was one time we wanted to go up that trail again and see the city from the rocks.  Everything was going very well until we started back down the trail to go back home.  Out of my kids, there was always someone who wanted to be the trail blazer, or the one in the lead, the pace setter.  Alicia took off down the trail and, fortunately, this time she didn’t take one of the dogs with her.

As she started down the trail, she didn’t seem to realize that there was something all coiled up in the middle of her path.  She walked right past it and lightly brushed it with her foot as she went past.  She then heard the most scary sound that a little girl of around 11 years old would ever want to hear.  It was the sound of rattling.

Alicia looked at it and noticed that it was a rattlesnake.  She started to scream and act hysterical.  Fortunately, the snake didn’t bite her, it didn’t even act all that aggressive because it didn’t watch her and act like it was ready to attack.  It had a rattler but more of a black head like a water snake, which was strange.

Unfortunately, the boys and I were on the other side of the snake and couldn’t get around it.  The trail was thin and there was no way to get around.  I will paint the picture here for you.

Alicia was on one side of the snake, screaming and acting hysterical, while the boys and I were on the other side.  When I first noticed that Alicia was upset, I looked to see what was happening and sure enough there was a snake.  I asked Alicia if she was okay, and found out that the snake didn’t hurt her at all.  Then I looked at the snake.  I have never seen a rattlesnake live like that in the wild all coiled up, and we were at a safe distance to observe it and I was amazed to see a snake in the wild.

The boys and I were on one side oohing and aahing over this big creature in the middle of the trail, with Alicia hysterical and screaming in a safe place on the other side.  Imagine that picture.  I did manage to get Alicia to calm down by telling her that rattlers are not aggressive unless threatened.  We were no threat, so it would eventually leave and eventually it did slither to the side of the trail under some small bushes.  The boys and I decided to just calmly and, as quietly as we could, walk past the snake.

I was amazed that through all of this, Alicia didn’t get bitten because she told me that she had clearly brushed the snake and it was coiled up.  I was shocked that the snake did not bite her.  I am also glad that she didn’t take one of our three dogs with her.  A dog would have noticed the snake when she didn’t and someone would have gotten bit, either her or the dog.   Another thing that was scary was that we were three miles away from the road, it was a six-mile round trip.  I would hate to even think of how hard it would have been to get to a doctor if anything happened.

That is clearly why I think there was a divine hand in it all, someone watching out for Alicia behind the scenes where we couldn’t see.  I would like to meet that angel someday and tell him or her thanks for watching out for Alicia.

Editor’s Note:  “Amy’s Angle” is a weekly Wednesday feature in this blog.

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media


9 thoughts on “AMY’S ANGLE — Someone watching over our girl

  1. I’m never glad to see a snake on the trail but as of yet I’ve never had one cause me any problems either. I was lucky that the day I saw the huge timber rattler I posted about I didn’t have my dog with me. I’m sure the whole experience would have been a lot more stressful. I’m glad everything worked out for you and your family. Nothing wrong with having an angel looking over your shoulder.

    1. I don’t mind water snakes but rattle snakes is a different story. But we were at a safe distance away and so was Alicia. But this snake didn’t act like your usual rattler. It seemed more like a water snake but with a rattler. Strange. But I am glad that nobody got hurt because we were a long way up as you have read. Thanks for your comment.

  2. You were a designated natural area. It is is illegal to kill native animals there as well as remove native plants (for example orchids). I read beechcreekproject’s post on his Timber Rattlesnake encounter complete with his lengthy musing about killing complete with firearm ammunition pictures. BCP tried to rationalize killing the snake by stating that he would be protecting future hikers. Though hiking is great and is an activity that I enjoy along with hunting, I respect preserves. It makes no matter whether it is is a snake , salamander, orchid or butterfly I oberve, photograph and leave to its own devices, as should everyone.

      1. Just to let you know, I have reported your ‘working plan’ of killing timber rattlesnakes (in order to protect hikers) to the Ouachita NF offices at several levels and have Included links to the appropriate blogs of yours. In case you did not know, Crotalus horridus is a species of special concern in OK thereby protecting it from collectors or people who are convicting it of crimes that it has not committed.and killing it.The species is protected under OK law. Make sure that you respect the law as well as preserves.

        Bill Fespermam

      2. I think I made the mistake of association with BCP. If so I apologize. I only turned in his blog.Aagain I’m sorry.

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