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Hike on Mt. Hood

Sonoma County
Sept. 1, 2003

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It was really too hot to go hiking on mountain tops, so when our trail crossed a late-summer trickle of a stream, we detoured and followed the water and cool shade instead. We would go about 50 feet, and then stop, unpack the bags, eat a quarter of a sandwich and drink some water, then rest a while, pack it up again and start hopping rocks again. During one of these stops, two teenage women passed us by. When they got about 10 yards ahead of us, one of them yelped, and they both jumped back. One had frightened a small rattle snake, which was coiled up under a branch she had stepped over. They looked at it for a moment and then decided to head back the way they had come. I hate to think what would have happened to our lead scout, Tommy, if Em hadn't suggested we stop, and instead we had stumbled on the rattler first.