I was recently camping at a Florida state park (check out my camping recaps here) and had a really quick, but scary moment that could’ve changed my life drastically. I’m just going to go ahead and say it was a Final Destination-y type experience. Maybe not quite “near death” but also not something I want to experience again anytime soon. Kind of like that time an angry driver pulled a gun on me. Or when an attic latter spring snapped off the hinge, hitting my face just an inch away from my eye. And the time I fainted in my apartment and face planted against the bathroom counter. Or when I unknowingly snorkeled with a barracuda.
This time I was on land. Lots of land. A prairie, in fact. I decided to go for a jog. During the run I took a detour down a trail off the main road. That might have been my first mistake. The path was one that has two lanes for tires. I guess they drive out here every once in a while to check up on things? Here’s a pic of the path where I was running.
I had run about half a mile and turned around. I stayed in the left tire track of the path. The middle had higher brush, anyway. Out of nowhere I heard a sort of hiss. Only took a second or two for my brain to compute what I’d just heard. It wasn’t a hiss at all. It was more like plastic beads in a shaker. I immediately stopped running to look back where the sound came from and sure enough… on the brushy edge of the left tire rut…
AN EASTERN DIAMONDBACK RATTLESNAKE.
WHAT THE CRAP!?!?!?!?! There it was, coiled up but it’s head pointing directly at me. Goodness gracious, Lord Almighty thank You for keeping me safe while I was oblivious to the snake just inches from my legs. I can’t believe I had come within a foot of a rattlesnake. So close that it felt the need to rattle off a warning. I didn’t have my phone with me but a day earlier I saw one crossing the park road. Here’s a pic of that one…
Needless to say I finished the jog at a faster pace than I started.
-Out of the Wilderness
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