Yesterday saw us safely over our last bit of mountains, into the Central Valley and, at last, backing into our site at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.
This is an interesting place. First, it’s close to my family, and believe me, they’re interesting. Don’t get me started. Seriously, they’re all good folk, each wonderful and well above average. We’ve seen a few and tomorrow, Saturday, we’ll see more; we’re celebrating a daughter’s birthday, a mom’s birthday, and the fact that nobody has gotten snake-bit. Yet.
Besides being close to family, the campground is close to Folsom Lake. (From our campsite there’s a trail you can walk for maybe 100 yards and be up on top of one of the dikes that help form the lake.) But.
Check the California State Parks website, look at Folsom Lake SRA, and be informed: this is rattlesnake country. They’re vipers, they’re poisonous, and they’ll bite you if they feel threatened when you get very, very close to them.
It’s true that they’re not aggressive. They’re not going to see us from across the lake and come slithering in our direction just to attack. I think we’re too big to ingest. But if you fling your foot or arm or leg or whatever too close to them, they get nervous, and make their rattles rattle, and then inject you with six pints of venom — enough to kill a small elephant.
Oh, all right, I’m exaggerating, but still, they’re snakes. ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION? Why would anyone camp here? “Avoid trails.” “If you must use a trail, where loose-fitting trousers, preferably made of titanium, and possibly add steel-reinforced hiking boots.” “Also, be prepared to run faster — much faster — than your hiking companions.”
I still may be making some of this up. But this is SnakeLand, seriously, and Team Toto is essentially zero-tolerant when it comes to snakes. Even the garter snakes in the back yard at home have caused minor strokes and strained lower backs.
My brother, who lives about a mile from here, has tried to reassure me. “They only come out when it’s HOT.” Hey, it’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s hot by western Washington standards. But here in Granite Bay, 105 is hot. Okay. Maybe the reptiles will leave us alone.
I dunno. Today I had to work all day, writing copy for purveyors of software. It’s good work, and their products, I think, actually do people some good, and I’m lucky they ask me to help.
Sooz went out with my sister-in-law to stock up on party goods. There was also a lengthy discussion with State Parks professionals about accommodating 12 guests to celebrate a combined 130 years of happy living.
The logistics are ridiculous, but this is what I get for not having amassed a fortune and having them all out to my own private lodge with two miles of Lake Tahoe waterfront. I meant to, I really did. Got distracted.
We’ll let you know how the snakepit — I mean, the birthday party — turns out.Sharing is caring!
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