Friday, August 14, 2015

His Notice Sudden Is

I apologize for being MIA the last couple weeks. Barley, Soth, and I took off for Alabama to celebrate my dad's birthday and have one last getaway before the new school year starts. I had every intention of joining in on at least the FitDog Friday fun, but I was hot and lazy and it just didn't happen.

Most of our Alabama visit was uneventful with very little to report. Almost every day, we got up to be out the door for a walk by 7:00 because even then it was hot and steamy. This was not an easy feat because I am not a morning person and Barley will sleep in as long as I will as long as she can snuggle up beside me.

I've mentioned that our walks there aren't very exciting. My parents' neighborhood is 3 streets and full of loose dogs, so they are stressful but also a little boring after you do the same walk twice a day for almost two weeks. There are few dog-friendly places to walk and the few close by trails have very little shade. 

To spice things up a bit, I did a little research about some trails near Birmingham, which is about an hour drive. (One of my searches for best dog trails in Birmingham came back with these great looking parks--I was very sad when I realized they were for trails in a Birmingham in the UK!) We found a park called Moss Rock Preserve and convinced my mom to wake up early and load our dogs in the car for a little morning adventure.

Ready for adventure!

The park was nice. There were clear trails and lots of shade, so even though it warmed up quickly we were able to get in a decent hike with lots of water breaks.




Barley insisted on crashing my mom and her dog's picture.

There were a lot fun rock formations. Apparently a lot of people come to this park to rock climb and Barley did a little bit of that herself.





On the way back to the car, we decided to take a different trail back to the parking lot to see the other side of the park. Shortly after we crossed the bridge over the stream, I saw something slither by Barley's foot. I froze. I looked down. I screamed. Barley was a few feet ahead of me and on a rock between us was a copperhead. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to step over it and I didn't want Barley to have to step over it, either. 

I noticed there was about a foot off to the side of it where one of us could potentially sneak around it. Since my mom and her dog were behind us, it seemed more logical to get Barley back on our side of the snake than trying to get all three of us on her side.

I angled myself hoping that I could call Barley through that little space. I took a deep breath and called her. To my horror, she stepped on the snake! Luckily, the rock was slanted and it rolled off the rock, so we sprinted back towards the bridge. When I stopped and turned around, the snake was coiled up at the bottom of the rock. Emily Dickinson said it best when she described the feeling of seeing a snake as making you go "zero at the bone." This was without a doubt the scariest moment of my life with Barley.

Why are you so nervous? This is a great adventure!

We decided to just retrace our steps on the original trail and forget about adventure. I had officially had more than enough than enough nature, so we stopped by Starbucks on the way home and I was content with the boring neighborhood walks the rest of our visit.


This adventure contributed to  26.28 miles last week and we've continued that trend--meeting our goals, but not getting too many extra miles--with 26.70 miles this week. We're looking forward to catching up on what everyone else has been doing while we've been away!!

24 comments:

  1. In spite of the snake scare that looks like it was a nice place to hike! Welcome back!

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    1. Thank you! We missed being connected to everyone! It was a very nice hike minus the snake :)

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  2. Oh my gosh! That encounter with the snake sounds so scary! I'm sorry that happened but I'm glad that in turned out okay! That looks like a fun hike, despite the slithery mishap!

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    1. I definitely squealed when I saw the snake! Up until that point, it was a good adventure, though!

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  3. Oh no, no snakes please. My mom would never go for a walk there again. She can't stand even photos of snakes, a real fear. She says if we would ever pick one up, she would put us up for adoption. Luckily we have very rarely seen one. Other than that, it sounds like a nice walk. Love the pics by the rocks.

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    1. I'm glad that you girls rarely see snakes--I'd hate for you to be put up for adoption ;) We see snakes at home sometimes, but it's usually too cool or we stay in spots where there's too much traffic for snakes to find a comfy spot to lounge, and the ones we see at home are rarely poisonous.

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  4. Yikes - that's a pretty scary story, would hate to run into a snake like that. We see some occasionally, but they are either dead or too small to worry us.

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    1. We rarely see scary snakes at home, either! This one made us long for snow when all of the snakes are hidden away ;)

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    1. It was definitely one of the top scariest moments we've ever had!

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  6. Wish that we could have been there for everything but the snake! :-)

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  7. WOW scary!! I carry a snakebite kit just in case of rattlers, the kit would save a dogs life and buy extra time in getting to a vet. Might want to consider adding one to your pack.
    But was a pretty place! :-)

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    1. We always have some stuff to make a tourniquet and a dog first-aid kit with us, but I wasn't sure how I was going to get my 55-pound dog a mile back to the car in a timely manner!

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  8. Oh, gosh, a snake encounter like that would scare me so much, too. I've only seen a snake while hiking once, and it was before we adopted Nala. I nearly stepped on it, then I jumped to the other side of the trail so fast it felt like I had teleported! I like snakes, but I'm so scared that Nala will get into trouble with a member of one of the many very poisonous species in our area.

    Yup, the South is very hot right now. You were right to leave. ;)

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    1. I like snakes from a distance--sometimes we see them slithering across the trail and we just stop and wait until they are across before we keep going, but this one was a little too close for comfort!

      And we were so happy that it stayed in the low 70s all day on our first day back home so that we could sleep in after a long drive! I don't know how I survived southern temperatures for the first 23 years of my life!

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  9. I was wondering where you guys were. Glad you're both OK! That snake encounter sound scary.

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    1. I had every intention of keeping up with posts while I was gone, but then my computer never even made it out of its bag! The snake encounter was definitely not something I want to repeat any time soon.

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  10. It's so great you can take her with you on your visits. I've seen a lot more snakes this summer than usual (athough they're not venomous around here). None of the dogs I walk even notice the snakes. It's weird.

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    1. My parents are awesome pet grandparents and their dog is equally patient when my siblings and I show up with our menageries ;) We usually don't see venomous snakes, either, and Barley never notices them. I think if we ever came across a rattler, though, she'd notice, so fingers crossed that never happens.

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  11. Well, it sounded like a nice walk up until then!
    I scream when I see the totally innocuous snakes we have around here...I can't imagine seeing one that was actually dangerous...yikes. I'm so glad it turned out OK though. Sometimes boring can be good!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. I scream no matter what kind of snake it is, too! Boring definitely became more appealing after that encounter!

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  12. Wow, what a lucky close call with that snake. It was probably lucky that Bailey seemed to be clueless and didn't get all excited by the snake.

    BTW, I had to giggle about your excitement over the Birmingham England trails. I'm temporarily staying in Cambridge, MD and have done similar things with Cambridge, Massachusetts. :)

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    1. Yes--she's totally oblivious when it comes to snakes. Barley's not much of a sniffer unless we're playing noseworks games, so she doesn't usually pay much attention to things on the ground if they are quiet, which I think is very lucky for us!

      I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's had map confusion over trails! I'm so used to my computer using my location to filter searchers that I didn't even think that my parents' computer might not do that ;)

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