Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Two-Snake Tuesday

Well, I guess winter is officially over.

Photo: USFWS

Went out for an easy lunchtime run on the Blue Sky Trail - a.k.a The Viper Pit - today, and two or three miles into the Horsetooth to Coyote Ridge section I saw my first rattler of the season. I saw him early, so avoided the madness of almost stepping on him, but figured he was dead as he was so flat to the ground he looked like he'd been run over by a 10-ton truck. With this in mind, I was pretty casual in stepping around him. I screamed like a girl when he shot into the strike position and rattled at me. I almost - but not quite - crapped my pants.

Standing a safe ten meters or so from the bugger, I started throwing stones to get him off the trail, but he wasn't in the slightest bit interested in moving. Considering I was running an out and back, I was concerned at his stubborn streak. No more than a half mile further down the trail, I saw another, much larger, snake sitting in the grass maybe a foot from the trail. I screamed, yes screamed, again.

In theory I have no problem with snakes, and understand that I'm out playing in their habitat on a daily basis so need to get used to living and running with them, but in practice they never fail to scare the living b'jesus out of me.

I got to the Coyote Ridge intersection - my turnaround - and ran the gauntlet back down viper alley. I was severely paranoid, but knew the exact location of the two snakes. Fortunately, both had moved on in the 20 minutes or so that it took me to get back to their location, so I didn't have to deal with maneuvering around them.

Be careful out their Fort Collins runners, especially on the Blue Sky trail, which is just loaded with snakes.


  1. Shoulda caught one - taste just like chicken.

  2. You'll hear me scream (like a little girl) all the way up in Ft Collins when I see my first snake of the season. Do they have the GIANT black snakes here like they do in the Southeast? Those suckers like to stretch out straight across the trail OR fall out of trees onto runners.

  3. Jeff - I ate snake once, and believe me it didn't taste like chicken; more like old rubber boots.

    Tim - Haven't seen any nasty black snakes. Only seem to see grass snakes, bull snakes and rattlers. Not quite sure how I would react to a snake flopping on my head, but I'm sure it wouldn't be pretty.

  4. Nick, that's a bit scary. I've never come across a rattler but I have come across a few Garter Snakes while running and those freak me out and make me react like a five year old girl with an akward jump.

  5. They're baaaaack!!! That's why I stick to my Rock Repeats once the weather gets warm. I love snakes when I see them first and have plenty of room to get around them.

    Be careful, you don't want to come visit nurse Ratched in the ICU. She might give you an enema.