Running in the desert is incredible on many levels.  The terrain is varied, from hard packed dirt to rocky trail over flat land and up steep mountains.  The vegetation is unforgiving, as everything is pointy and pokey.  The vastness is impressive, with acres upon acres of open land untouched by humans.   And then, there’s the wildlife.

Once in awhile, if you spend enough time in the desert, you’ll stumble upon one of these guys, the diamondback rattlesnake.  This one here was about 4 ft. long, and about 2 inches thick in his mid-section… a big one!   It’s comforting to know that the big snakes apparently have better control over the amount of venom they inject into a victim, over the little, more immature fellas.  Even so, I don’t want to experience the bite of either one!

The truth is, these critters won’t hurt you if you don’t bother them. It’s their world, and we’re just passing through it, so if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. When threatened, they’ll coil up and you’ll hear that dreaded rattling sound, and this is when you really need to keep your distance.  When laying out in the sun, like this guy was doing, he’s not looking for any trouble and just wants to be left alone.

The bottom line is that you need always be alert and aware when in the desert, especially during the summer months.  When hiking, running or biking on desert trails, I would never recommend wearing headphones, bebopping to your tunes, as that rattle will be harder to hear.  Even when living in a rural area it’s a wise practice to always look down when you open your front door before taking that first step.

So, be respectful of their habitat, and humans and critters can enjoy the wonders of the desert together.

Time for another Adventure!