Our First Rattlesnake In Camp
So we have been traveling around the country in Frankenstein the pop-up camper for a year and a half now and have seen a total of like 3 snakes in camp. One was a black snake and two were garter snakes so nothing serious. Well today that all changed.
We are boondocking on BLM land somewhere between Blanding, Utah and Bears Ears National Monument. Yesterday we had a bit of wind and the dirt here is ridiculous so everything is covered in red dust. So Jamey is outside cleaning while I’m inside cleaning and all of a sudden he’s yelling at the dog and shoving him in the camper.
Turns out Dexter had found a rattlesnake chillin’ under the shade of a tree. Our dog is absolutely adorable, but not the brightest crayon in the box. He apparently found the snake and actually rubbed his nose against it. I’m assuming he was trying to figure out what it was. Obviously the rattler wasn’t happy about that so he gave Dexter a little shake of his tail telling him to back off.
Well Dexter jumped about a foot up in the air and backed away. Then immediately walked right back up to the rattlesnake as Jamey was yelling at him. Like I said our pup isn’t the brightest, but in his defense this was his first encounter with a rattlesnake. He literally had no clue what was going on or why Jamey kept yelling at him.
After grabbing the camera to take a pic (which is obviously always the first thing you should do when encountering poisonous animals) Jamey went to grab the shovel to safely move the two foot reptile. He gently picked up Jake (yes the hubby named him) and slowly started walking him across the road to deposit him far from us and the furbabies. Jake calmly sat on the shovel till we placed him on the ground.
As soon as he hit the ground though he got in a semi-strike position and shook his rattlers again. We took the hint and quickly, but calmly crossed the road. We watched him for a couple minutes before he finally slithered away to make himself comfortable again in the shade of another tree far from us and camp.
We spent the next thirty minutes checking every tree and fallen branch in camp to make sure Jake didn’t have any friends hanging around. Then I let Dexter and our cat Everest outside again. That was about an hour ago and I’ve been getting up every 10 minutes making sure there’s no danger noodles hanging around. Paranoia has set in and I’m convinced they are everywhere now.
We have been very lucky we haven’t encountered any dangerous animals in our travels so far. We have seen wild boar a couple times on hikes, but that’s it. Dexter’s beagle baying always scares them off pretty quickly. I know this year the snakes have been out more than usually because of the cicadas. We have also been traveling in the desert almost this entire year and there are tons of lizards which are another tasty snack for snakes.
I know there have probably been plenty of snakes in our camp before since we boondock and disperse camp almost exclusively on BLM land and in national forests. Jake blended right into his environment and if it wasn’t for the dog we probably wouldn’t of seen him. I’m sure that has been the case many times and that’s the way I like it. If I can’t see it then it doesn’t exist!
Keep an eye on your pets when they are outside and watch where you step.
You never know what lies around the next corner!