It was one of the very few times I didn’t have my camera with me because I had brought along a trash bag to pick up litter I had spotted at a nearby campsite. We also considered naming the area Cow Patty Alley because of frequent morning visits by a small herd of cows. Unfortunately our dogs considered the old cow chips they found around camp a delicacy. Often right after chewing a cow patty, they would jump in our laps, and sneak in a rather smelly puppy kiss……. Talk about a Listerine moment!! Do they make breath mints for dogs?
We have spotted several elk & bear in this area, and there are several small shallow ponds in the vicinity so it is a great area for wildlife viewing. Speaking of ponds, last year when we broke down our tent, we found a rather large tiger salamander hiding underneath the tent floor. This guy was about 6 inches long, and I have heard that they can grow to be over 1 foot long!!
I hate breaking down the tent because you never know what kind of creepy crawlies are lurking under the tarps we lay down to pad the floor of the tent. One year while camping in Texas at Alabama Creek we found a rattlesnake (cottonmouth ??) hiding between the tent floor and the tarp! No kidding!! I have no idea how long it had been there, but I was relieved it didn’t find its way into our tent or worst still into our sleeping bags. I don’t know if its true or not, but I have heard that snakes will seek out the warmth of a sleeping bag.
I’ve seen larger rattlesnakes, but I have heard that size really has nothing to do with the amount of venom they can inject with a single bite. Since it was the last day of our camping trip, we put the dogs in the truck to protect them, and then gave the snake a wide birth, while packing up the remainder of our gear. Ever since the rattlesnake incident, my bedtime routine includes completely unzipping our sleeping bag and looking for snakes, spiders, or scorpions! Don thinks I’m being silly because I check things out before climbing in our sleeping bag, but I am terrified by the thought of something crawling around on me while I’m sleeping. Because of the rattlesnake, Don was put in charge of picking up and folding the tent tarps, while I take down and pack the tent poles and stakes.
Update: Have positively IDed
this snake as a cottonmouth!
It was a long hike and I was totally exhausted and a little dehydrated when I got back to camp. Don is always good about having a nice cold ice drink waiting for me when I get back from one of my hikes. Seeing how tired I was, he even offered to make dinner for us that night, which was sweet. During this trip, we had a little problem with our sleeping bag, but I will leave that for my next post, since it involves the Terrible Trio which I have been meaning to introduce for a long time…….