I’m really excited about our hike on the Selway River coming up next week. I’ve heard a lot of good things about that area, and it’s somewhere I have not explored yet. Plus, we’ll get to hike two trails and check out a campsite all in one weekend!
But I keep hearing about how many rattlesnakes are the in area. There are stories of the old packers riding this trail with tin chaps on to protect their legs from snakes jumping out at them from the rocks! There is no way I’m hiking along a river with tin chaps on.
So now I’m having visions of walking my family right into an ambush of flying snakes, like something taken right out of the Old Testament (Numbers 21:6).
Everything I’ve read about snake bites says that the key is to not get your heart rate up so the venom doesn’t spread quickly. Don’t get my heart rate up?!? We’re going to be on foot 4 miles away from Race Creek Campground, which is a two hour drive from the nearest hospital in Orofino, Idaho. How am I not going to get my heart rate up? How are my kids not going to panic? What am I supposed to do? Slap a bronze snake on a stick and wave it around?
I wonder if bronze serpents come in snake bite kits? “Here, hold this, Jacob. No, don’t hit your sister with it, she just needs to look at it.” (You might have to read the story in Numbers to get that joke.)
Fortunately, I’ve also been told by a trustworthy local that the overwhelming snake epidemic is kind of a thing of the past. Oh, they’re still there, just not leaping out at unsuspecting hikers anymore. I hope my source is right, because we’re still going. We’ll be careful about where we step, where the kids play, and where we pitch our tent, but I don’t want to let the fear of the unknown keep us from going out. Even bona fide fears of fiery flying serpents set on eating my dog whole.
What about you? Do you have any fears that work to keep you from getting out and exploring? What are they, and how do you overcome them? I’d love to read your stories in the comments below or on our group Facebook page. Here’s a little video to get the conversation started:
Don’t let the fear stop you! See you on the trail.