This is a picture of a gigantic and ferocious rattlesnake that my hiking buddy John fought to the death on our way thru Wildcat Canyon in Zion National Park last week. This was the 2nd of 7 rattlesnakes we saw. It’s a miracle we escaped with our lives.

Well, maybe not. Of the 7, 3 were tiny, 2 were fast asleep, and 1 was far enough away not to be much worry. Only this one (pictured above) actually rattled at us and generally scared the crap out of everyone. Rattlesnakes don’t rattle, by the way; it’s more of a loud buzz, and it’s very disconcerting when it’s filling the air and you’re not sure where it’s coming from. It’s probably much more disconcerting when you have to pry its fangs out of your naked calf, which is (almost) what happened to John.

In any event, Zion (and Southern Utah in general) is one of the world’s most awesome places, and I loved this trip. But this blog ain’t about Zion. Tomorrow is the last day of school, and we’re off to Montreal (via Vernon) on Friday morning. More to follow…

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