2 Peaks & a Snake Lesson

Late in 2018, my family and I went on a hiking trip with Hike Beyond the Hills. We were able to hike around 13 miles up two mountains. The first mountain was Cuyamaca Peak, which was about 9 miles. The second mountain was Stone Wall, which was about 4 miles. Also, I kicked butt.

I love walking up rocky mountains, boulders, and trees. Cuyamaca Peak was straight up and asphalt, but Stone Wall was switchbacks with lots of rocks and had trees on the side.  I would climb on the trees and sit on them while I waited for the rest of my group to catch up.

My favorite part of the whole hike was the views at the very top of Stone Wall (see below). I loved watching the clouds move so quickly above and then looking down and seeing the roads and cars.

During both hikes, I talked a lot to the leader of the group, Philip. Philip and I talked about his time in the military, snake protocol, and much more.

When Philip and I talked about snake protocol I learned a lot. Most of what I learned was the opposite of what I had learned in school.

Philip explained that the first thing you think to do when you come across a snake is slowly back away and hope it doesn’t notice you, but this is not helpful when you are hiking because the whole point is to move forward. Also, snakes are blind so they rely on the vibrations they feel on the floor. Instead, I should put a good amount of distance between me and the snake. Then, I should start stomping to create as much vibration on the floor as I can. This should cause the snake to leave, but if this is not the case, I should walk past the snake while still putting as much distance between the two of us.

Now if I can just remember all of this when I meet one on the trail!