July 21, 2011
Kayak, 9:00am: four people in individual kayaks. We launched from Otter Creek, then paddled upriver into Dead Creek. Visited the shoreline where we found flakes left over centuries by indigenous people as they banged away making stone tools and weapons. Fished with small seine net, caught several fish: 1 longnose gar (~10”), 1 baby bullhead, several crappies, and a baby smallmouth bass.
Hike, 2:00pm: with three guests, a 95-degree muggy day. RATTLESNAKE! Just 150 yards up the trail past Barn Rock shelter, we heard a loud raspy noise. We froze. A very large rattler was poised with its tail rigid in the air and head held 10” or so off the ground looking very ready to strike. We were within 30 feet of it. We backed off, then took a quiet detour around it. We went about our hike, sweating profusely, and did not make it to the Snake Den Lookout, partly because we didn’t have enough water. But then why bother worrying about attaining a goal when you’ve seen a rattler? I cut walking sticks for all of us on our return, and we rapped them on rocks as we neared the vicinity of the earlier snake sighting. We didn’t see it again, fortunately.