Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rapids and Rattlesnakes

So, I have a lot to blog about. Like everything else in my life, I am behind, possibly never to "catch up," and I'm okay with that.

There has been much that has gone on:

On August 08, I went rafting again. Had a blast. Fell out of the raft shortly after I had said I had never fallen out. Ha! I have three images burned in my mind about falling out and "swimming" through the White Maidens rapid: Hitting the rapid and seeing everyone lurch forward (I was in the back of the raft this time) and as I lurched forward, seeing my legs and shoes. One should NEVER see ones shoes so clearly, as one's shoes should be tucked in nicely to keep one's body in the raft. I immediately think, "oh-no!" Then, the next image is white and green and brown water all around me, and feeling very cold, and swallowing lots of water. The next image is one of a boulder in front of my face. On the plus side, it was a good experience for me, because a part of me wants to kayak, and you can't kayak unless you can keep your head, so to speak, in a kind of scary situation.

While in the water, I had time for some "deep thoughts:" I thought life jackets were supposed to keep you above the water?!? Hey, I still have my paddle! Yay, me! Where is my raft?

I reached out my paddle (just like a good girl who listened to the safety talk beforehand!) and Marcie pulled me back in. I took three crazy deep breaths, and then I was fine! I was exhausted, and for some reason the fingers on the hand that held my paddle were numb. I forgot to ask Marcie why, but she noticed and said it's normal.

I also had an adventure on the swim rapid, which was quite a bit more than the swim rapid I did last summer in Bakersfield. And, I somehow got in front and was being directed by Teasha and Marcie: "Go to the left! Swim to the left Karrie! K, you're good! Swim to the right!" I had no idea why at the time, but I'm very obedient and did what I was told. (It was to avoid holes.) Then the yelling stopped because everyone was swallowing water. The rapid timing was just off enough that you couldn't catch your breath.

Needless to say, after being in the water (mostly under it) twice, I was tired. But what an awesome adventure. And no, we didn't find the dead body, but we did see some naked people and some deer.
(Dead body? Naked people? The mighty Kern River has A LOT of deaths, 13 this summer I think, and at the time of our trip, one was still missing. Naked people: there is a hot spring that hubby has dubbed "Hepatitis Hot Spring" where nasty people get naked and stand in the warm nasty river water.)

On that trip, a part of our conversation was about snakes, and I stated that we don't have rattlesnakes at our place, because there is no place for them to hide. (Remember, this is the trip where I also said I had never fallen out of a raft!)

Well, the next day, the girls and I came home from the grocery store, and the boys came running over to tell us about the snake they found on the porch. I go look at it, and I ask if it had rattled. They said no, but I'm curious because it had diamonds on it's back. But it was hard to tell because it was all curled up and hiding under some flashing on our house. I tell them not to poke the snake (they both had sticks in their hands) and go into the house to say hi to Ryan. I ask Ryan if he heard about the snake, and he said yes. I told him he should check on it, so we go out, and sure enough, it's a young Western Diamond Back. We stare at it a bit, talk to the kids about snake safety, and then discuss what to do with it. It wasn't budging. I told the kids about my grandma who lived in the hills and kept a .22 rifle next to the door, and she would shoot any and all rattlesnakes that came near the house. Her nickname is "Dead-eye Dorothy." Good times, good times. We disposed of the snake, showing the kids it's fangs, telling them about venom, and a guy I went to high school with who was bit by a rattlesnake a few years ago, and it hurts... and that we respect snakes, we don't bother them, they are good because they eat mice, don't poke them, don't hurt them. We only got rid of this one because it was a rattlesnake right next to the house and it was dangerous for our family.

Speaking of respecting snakes, I was sitting on the edge of our porch, talking on the phone, and had my right leg tucked under me, with my left leg over the side touching the ground. I was wearing flip flops. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a black head slithering in between my nearly bare foot and the porch, only three inches away from my foot! Seriously, I jumped up and did this "got the willies" kind of dance, while I watched the snake go about it's business. It was a red racer... I think. It may have been a red racer crossed with a king snake. We have some weird interbreeding going out here in the hills. ;)

We have had A LOT of snakes this year. A lot of bunnies, too. And mice, and rats...

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