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Karen had stopped and was starting to slowly back up before I realized what we were hearing.
We both backed up a short distance. The rattler didn’t move and I got a snapshot of it.
Commentary and images from the road
image and information from September 13, 2009
September 13, 2009 – Mesa Verde National Park
We were hiking the Knife’s Edge Trail near the Mesa Verde campground, with Karen in the lead, reading from the trail guide booklet, while I was trailing behind taking pictures.
Suddenly, we heard a very characteristic sound, a sound we’ve heard many times in the movies and on TV.
Most of the trail was plenty wide, but, in this area it had started to narrow a bit.
Of course, the rattlesnake blended in very well with the vegetation along the side of the trail. In the closeup crop on the right, I’ve outlined the head and tongue and added an arrow pointing to the rattle.
We didn’t turn around and go back down the trail. There was still a ways to go yet, so, from a safe distance, I started scuffing gravel and rocks toward the snake with my foot. After a little bit of that, it uncoiled and slithered into the brush, still rattling until it was a good ways off the trail.