Slice Of Life

Slice Of Life, is a Weblog (BLOG) that I write, in which I try to tell some sort of story about something, or someone in my life. Sometimes it's happy, sometimes not, sometimes informative, sometimes...... HA, gotcha, did ya think that I was going to say not? Don't know me very well, do ya? :=) I will try to update the BLOG from time to time, whenever I can.

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

My personality is outgoing, I use to be a wallflower, until I realized that it was all the outgoing people that were having the most fun. It was a tough conversion, but nobody I know today would even remotely consider me to be a wallflower. Basically, when I was young, my parents taught me that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. I haven't quite found the "anything" part to be always true, but it has inspired me to always try to do, and be, my best.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Snakes In The Grass

Some friends and I went overnight camping again, over the Easter Weekend at Bartlett Lake. I like going up there, because it is only about 1 hour drive from my house, but the area is so different from around here, that it feels like a different world. Plus, you don’t need to make any sort of reservations. Just pay your $6.00 per day for a “Tonto National Forrest Parking Pass”, and set up your camp in any of the open cove areas around the lake.

I also got a chance to try out my new tent. It’s a 4 person Coleman, and I practiced putting it up in the back yard before I went up there, so I got it up in about 10 minutes. Boy, technology sure has progressed since my Boy Scout days, where it took 4 of us more then ½ hour to put up a tent.

It was a good turn out, about 12 people showed up, so we had a major spread out campsite. We of course use the “Propane Method” of cooking, so we were able to do steaks, instead of the standard Hamburger & Hot Dog thing. Ahhhhhh, nothing like camping out in luxury. A couple of people brought their boats, so we got the opportunity to cruise around the lake, and I even went swimming this time. MAN that lake water is COLD (burrrr).

I also got a chance to see something that I’ve heard and read about since I moved to Arizona 12 years ago, but never seen in real life. Saturday morning, I was up a little early, and the sun had come up a little while before I woke up, so after throwing more wood in the fire pit, dousing it with charcoal lighter, and getting the fire started….. What, did you think I did the kindling and paper fire starting? Silly person, that’s what they make charcoal lighter for :-)

Anyway, after I started the fire, I took the little stroll up the hill to the bathroom to clean up. The path from the campsite went through this area where the shrubs were pretty well overgrown, and on the way back, out of the corner of my eye to the right, I saw movement on the ground and heard what sounded like…. A baby rattle.

SHOOT! Talk about scaring the piss out of someone. I’m no Olympic Athlete, but I jumped sideways so fast, that I might have won the Gold Medal for sideways jumping, if there was such a thing. When I looked over, what was staring at me, while slithering around at the base of the bush was…. A Rattlesnake.

Oh baby, I don’t mean just any old rattlesnake, oh no. I recognized this one immediately, because I just happened to read the Snake Information Board at the Ranger Station while I was waiting for him to get off the phone to purchase my parking pass. This little baby I was facing, with it’s distinctive diamond pattern on it’s back, and the stripes on it’s head, and tail, made it was easy to identify as….. A Western Diamondback Rattlesnake…

There it was, about 15 feet from me, and Boy this thing must have been pissed off at being disturbed too, because it slithered sideways, which I didn’t know they could do, while it’s head faced directly at me, while it shook it’s rattle at me. It must have been pretty young though, because although it was hard to tell with it curled, it was probably “only” about 2-3 feet long, and when it’s rattle stopped shaking every few seconds, I counted maybe 5-7 segments.

Well, I got the “Rattle Message” BIG TIME. Talk about freezing, I made like Mr. Statue Man, for maybe 30 seconds, before it decided to slither away into the bushes. WHEW! Talk about your adrenaline rush, eh? The only thing I regret, is that I didn’t have a camera, so I could have pictures. Oh well…. I know what I saw, and although it’s not something I care to repeat anytime soon, it’s something I’ll never forget. Just call me, Snake Man :-)

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