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173 triplogs

Aug 31 2019
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Hawes Trail SystemPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 31 2019
gummo
Hiking5.00 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
400 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I went out this morning to try to find some critters that I can photograph with the skull. I saw 2 baby diamondbacks. I gave them both water, but the one escaped into a hole before I could get it into focus. If you see a hiker with a spray bottle and skull, that's me.

I didn't see too many lizards today. It's very dry. I'm starting to bring an extra gallon of water to water some of the cacti, because they're stressed and drying out. I was unable to catch one of the few whiptails that I saw this morning. I did catch a zebra-tail though. He posed nicely, but I need to use different lizards and other critters and a different skull in the future to do something different. I have a few other skulls that I can use for my next photos.
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Jul 17 2019
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Queen Elizabeth National ParkAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Scenic Drive avatar Jul 17 2019
gummo
Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Tour de Ugandan Part 3

Second time at Queen Elizabeth National Park. My first visit to the park was in October exactly 9 months ago. Weather was a sunny 80F +/-. June to July is part of the dry season; although their dry season started on July 13th, the day I arrived.

Last time I stayed at Queen Elizabeth, I stayed at the Buffalo Lodge. This trip I and my safari partners, Tiwanah and Brian, stayed at Bush Lodge. Although, Bush Lodge and Buffalo Lodge were very close to each other, they might as well be miles apart. They were very different. Bush Lodge is next to the water and very bushy. Snakes were more common in the area. The staff said that green mambas were commonly seen there, but I think the snakes that we seen were Jameson's mambas. Ugandas do not know their reptiles and amphibians too well. Buffalo Lodge lives up to their name. Cape buffaloes hang out outside the lodge. You were allowed to walk around at night at Buffalo Lodge, but you were not allowed to walk around at night at Bush Lodge because hippos came to feed in the area at night.

As soon as we settled in the room, I saw a snake hanging on the bathroom door. Bush Lodge has bandas with an outside shower. Buffalo Lodge has rooms and is totally indoors. The bandas are not that secure, so you share your space with geckos and arthropods and an occasional snake. As soon as I saw the snake, it fell off the door and squirmed up the wall. The staff had to move us to another banda. This is Africa.

On our night drive, I immediately noticed that there weren't as much wildlife as there was in October. A local told me that July was a tough month to see wildlife and fall and winter were the best months to see wildlife. One thing that I noticed about July were the numerous white butterflies. They were in abundances and many birds and geckos were feeding upon them. Some of my photos have white spots on them, which are actually butterflies. During this drive, we saw the usual suspects: kobs, vervet monkeys, a few elephants in the distance, waterbucks, ground birds, etc. We did see one sickly lion (no photo) and a leopard before retiring for the night.

During the night, we heard hippos grunting and chopping away on vegetation outside our banda. The next morning we continue with our safari. We ran across 4 lions (3 females and one cub). We then did the boat cruise and where hippos, fish eagles, crocs, and elephants were commonly seen.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is a must see. It's not the best African park to visit, but it's definitely a treat. Here are some final thoughts about Uganda and Africa in general:

1. Africans are better human beings in general. They are friendly and polite. They are simpler, humble, hard-working, and have an innocence about them that makes them more likeable.

2. Africans waste food like we do. I was taught to eat everything off your plate because there were people in Africa who were starving. Although, poverty is far worse than here, they rarely eat everything they're served.

3. After seeing African's megafauna and their exotic birds, it makes our wildlife less appealing.

4. Seeing the megafauna is humbling and makes me feel small in the larger scheme of things.

5. Food is different here. Not all of it is better. They don't know how to make pancakes and carrot juice, but their beef is superior to ours. I don't eat beef in the US anymore. I felt full and satisfied after eating their food.
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Jun 24 2019
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 24 2019
gummo
Hiking10.25 Miles 3,313 AEG
Hiking10.25 Miles   6 Hrs   8 Mns   1.84 mph
3,313 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Dec 22 2018
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Old Baldy - Super Trail LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 22 2018
gummo
Hiking12.90 Miles 4,050 AEG
Hiking12.90 Miles   5 Hrs   57 Mns   2.20 mph
4,050 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked Mt. Wrightson again this month. I did this hike shirtless to continue with my cold weather training. Even though it was unseasonably warm (bees and lizards were out), most people were dressed like they were hiking Mt. Everest. Temperature at the trailhead was at 58F at 9:44am, and there were some icy patches. Temps varied during the hike, but there was plenty of sunshine to provide some free vitamin D for me. I also choose this hike in hopes that I would see a coati, which I ended up seeing. :D
_____________________
Dec 01 2018
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Old Baldy Trail #372 to Wrightson SummitTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 01 2018
gummo
Hiking10.40 Miles 4,043 AEG
Hiking10.40 Miles   6 Hrs   11 Mns   1.78 mph
4,043 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to hike Wrightson again before the trail got too icy. Snow accumulated since I last visited, which was Monday. Start of the hike was 50F. On top, it was windy and near freezing, but I wasn't too cold. I hiked the trail in shorts with no shirt. I tested out my ability to withstand low temperatures. It was too bad. Only my finger tips got cold.

The people on the trail were cool and supportive too, unlike the hikers from Humphreys Peak. I know the photos make the area look unbearable to do with minimal clothing, but it's not as hard as you think. We were meant to withstand cold temperatures. You were just taught that you needed a jacket when it's cold and got accustom to the comfort of indoor heating. I'll probably do a few more cold weather hikes in minimal clothes before March.
Named place
Named place
Bellows Spring
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1 archive
Oct 06 2018
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Jacob's Trail #58Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 06 2018
gummo
Hiking6.50 Miles 320 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles
320 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to get 200 snakes under my belt for the year before I head to Uganda. I'm currently at 196. It's been a bad year for snakes. I only found a friction of what I'm used to seeing. I probably won't see any in Uganda. Maybe I'll see more when I return.
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1 archive
Aug 21 2018
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Meridian WashesPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 21 2018
gummo
Hiking5.00 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did a little snake scoutin' before work at the world famous Meridian Washes. I got rained on in the beginning, but I manned up and dealt with it. A lesser man would've given up and complained on social media about getting a little wet, but I was able to brave the elements and found 4 snakes in my effort : rambo : (1 dback and 3 longnosed snakes). It's good to see some long-nosed snakes again. The drought made them less abundant this year. :cry:
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1 archive
Jul 07 2018
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Bulldog Canyon via FR3554Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2018
gummo
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,534 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
1,534 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I haven't had too much luck finding snakes this year. Ii really have no one to blame for it, except you guys. :x Seriously, I often base my snake finding skills based on some of your photosets. If see snakes are being found often in a certain area, I will go and check it out, but few folks are posting snake photos this year due to the drought. It's sad. :cry:

Overall, 2018 has been good to me I need to step it up this summer. I'm off to see the mom in Florida next week and then planning a trip to Uganda in October, so if anyone has been to Uganda and knows something that I need to know before I go, I would appreciate it.
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1 archive
Apr 01 2018
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Bell Pass Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2018
gummo
Hiking10.30 Miles 1,240 AEG
Hiking10.30 Miles
1,240 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A lot of people skipped church today to look for snakes, and they were out. I also bought a t-shirt to help preserve the McDowell Mtns (https://content.sierraclub.org/grassroo ... evelopment). It's a terrible year for snakes due to the lack of rain we got so far. My counts are very low this year, and I've only seen 3 species in AZ. Hopefully, things were change soon.

Also, my snake tally for this year:

1) Dbacks: 10
2) Gopher snakes: 6
3) Coachwhips: 2
4) Black racer: 1

Total: 19
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Mar 10 2018
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Maasai Mara National Reserve, WW 
Maasai Mara National Reserve, WW
 
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2018
gummo
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Screen name: Gummo of the Mzungu Tribe
Destination: Nairobi and Mara Maasai
Dates away: March 4th to March 16th
Mission: Safari, meet new people, and to spread American culture to other parts of the world.
Mood: :y:
Weather: mixed between showers and sun but thunderstorms on the last day.
Mode of Transportation: British Airways, Uber, and safari van.
Highlights: 1) Meeting Virginah - my travel partner, interpreter, and future snake hunting partner when she comes to visit me in the states (she doesn't know that yet). 2) Safari. 3) David Scheldrick's Wildlife Trust
Lowlights: 1) Vegetarian food was terrible, so I had to eat meat. :? 2) Heavy rains stopped me from seeing other areas of the country 3) Heavy Traffic
Song: Vashti Bunyan - 17 Pink Sugar Elephants ( [ youtube video ] )
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So I was planning on going to Africa toward the end of the year, but I met a lady named Virginah on social media and she invited me to come to Kenya and go on safari with her. She stated that she had time off work in February and March, so I couldn't turn this opportunity down. She met me at the airport and got busy making plans for our adventure.

Much of our adventure was dependent on the weather. It was still the dry season, but the rains were definitely coming in fast. We decided to go to Mara Maasai because Nairobi National Park was too expensive and they were giving her the runaround with the prices.

Virginah showed me around the city, and I showed her how to work the camera. We went to one of the urban forests and then David Sheldrick's Wildlife Trust where we learned about elephant behavior and played with the elephants. We spent a lot of our time learning about each other. I taught her about American culture and she taught me about her culture and about her tribe. She and I got along very well, as Kenyan women love American men (you guys would probably be the exception).

We ride in a van to Maasai Mara, which boarders The Serengeti. We did a quick evening safari drive, but didn't see much on that drive. Next day, we took the entire day exploring the Savannah and saw many creatures (see photos). We saw giraffes fighting, a lion kill, hippos, and lots of hyenas. The park wasn't what I expected. It rained a lot the day before, so the roads were muddy and skulls and other bones littered the landscape. The area was rich with wildlife and was definitely the best trip that I've ever been on.

We didn't do much when I returned from Maasai Mara. The rains started to kick up, so we watched a lot of Netflix shows and movies. I saw Black Panther too. We went to the Giraffe orphanage on the last day. I did not bring my camera to it, but I wish I did because there was lots of birds and warthogs there as well.

On the flight back, I met a girl from Germany who wanted to come to Arizona on a future trip. Kenya is a great place to visit, and it should be on everyone's bucket list. I will have to return.

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3 archives
Dec 16 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2017
gummo
Hiking10.25 Miles 3,313 AEG
Hiking10.25 Miles
3,313 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided to test out my cold weather tolerance by hiking Humphrey's Peak in shorts and without a shirt. My tolerance for cold temperatures is pretty high. I never wear a jacket.

I wasn't too cold until I got close to the summit. At the summit, my brown adipose tissue was in full swing. My hands felt frozen, and I was shivering hard, but was able to warm up fairly quickly and hike down.
Culture
Culture
Happy Places
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1 archive
Sep 30 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Lost Goldmine Trail #60Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 30 2017
gummo
Hiking4.00 Miles 1,280 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
1,280 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to get some herping in before the fiscal year's end. I took advantage of the warm weather and ended up seeing 4 snakes this morning: 3 baby diamondbacks and 1 small long-nosed snake. I've seen a total of 89 snakes this September, 438 snakes total this year, 148 diamonbacks, and 68 long-nosed snakes.
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Sep 28 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Meridian WashesPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 28 2017
gummo
Hiking4.00 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A lot of people are getting upset because the weather is getting cooler, making the snakes less active. Snake hunting has been more of a challenge this past few days, but the scorpion activity seems to be thru the roof.

I see a lot of scorpions eating other critters. Today, I saw desert hairy scorpions eating a giant centipede, a baby whiptail, and a cricket. I did end up seeing one baby diamondback. I'm up to 432 snakes this year. Much better than last year. :D
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Jul 26 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Goldfield Hi Country via Gateway CynPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 26 2017
gummo
Hiking4.00 Miles 150 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
150 ft AEG4 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A lot of people are calling in sick, or even going as far as quitting their jobs, to look for baby long-nosed snakes this time year. Baby long-nosed snakes are hatched and are taken to the desert. It's disheartening that the news media has ignored this phenomenon, so I have to make up for it and get post some photos.

Last night I found 4 babies long-nosed snakes (newborns and yearlings), along with 2 night snakes. I focused my attack on snakes this time and ignored all toads. I went to the same area as yesterday because I did so well yesterday; although, I hike further from the river in a different area. No rattlesnakes this time.
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Jul 25 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Goldfield Hi Country via Gateway CynPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2017
gummo
Hiking4.00 Miles 150 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
150 ft AEG4 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
These humid days and long hours at work have forced me to hike at night. I'm also going to the Philippines in October, so getting used to being up all night and sleeping during the day would make sense in helping me get used to the jetlag.

Near the start of the hike, a chorus of spadefoots greeted me and called me over to do a short photo shoot. I was happy to oblige, :D but my focus was on finding baby long-nosed snakes as they are NOW out and crawling about looking for their first newborn photos to be featured on HAZ and other social media. :sweat:

I found one baby long-nosed snake within 10 minutes. It wasn't too happy about getting its picture taken, which is common for baby long-nosed snakes and baby humans alike. I kept trunkin' and saw a few more toads that got in my way and found another baby long-nosed snake.

Then I found a diamondback in the bushes. I tried to feed the snake some mice (there were a lot of rodents scattered around) by catching them and tossed them at the snake, but this snake was being lazy and unresponsive, so after the snake passed on rodent #3, I decided to return to the car. On the return, I saw another diamondback, which is a nice way to end the hike.
_____________________
Jun 21 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2017
gummo
Hiking6.05 Miles 1,060 AEG
Hiking6.05 Miles
1,060 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I didn't expect to see much on today's hike, mainly because of the heat, but I was thankfully wrong. I saw my 3rd sand snake of the year ( :y: ) and my first tiger rattler of 2017 ( :D ) and first desert tortoise of the year ( :sweat: ) .

To get the best possible photos from my snakes, I will bath them in my hat so they can look their best during their photo shoot. Every snake deserves to be pampered once in a while. When I do this, I noticed that the snakes are drinking the water as well as getting clean. Here's two videos of my models getting cleaned for the photo session free of charge.

Sand snake (6/21/17):
[ youtube video ]

Long nosed snake (6/20/17):
[ youtube video ]

Since I lack a 3rd arm, it's hard to get a good video of this. I obviously don't do this with the rattlers or coral snakes. I also don't do this to gopher snakes and coachwhips because their too skiddish.
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May 23 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Butcher Jones Trail #463Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 23 2017
gummo
Hiking5.40 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I joined a meetup group at Butcher Jones because I had a rare night off and am always up for a night hike. I also had a pass that I needed to use. The horses were there and so was the garbage.

The hike was okay. Nothing special. Afterwards, they were having a picnic. I don't eat processed junk - what most Americans consider food - so I opted out. Plus, since I was snake-less in Colorado, I needed to make up for my absence. I drove to the Salt River and looked around for some snakes. I saw 4 great horned owls and BINGO!!!! A snake. Not just any snake but a coral snake. That made my night, and I was glad I left the group. I didn't see another snake, but I would rather see one coral snake than 10 diamondbacks any day. Well, maybe 9 diamondbacks, but you get the point.

Snakeage for 2017: 119! :y:
Fauna
Fauna
Coral Snake
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2 archives
May 14 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Spillway Trail - UseryPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 14 2017
gummo
Hiking7.70 Miles 305 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles
305 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did a morning hike at Spillway and the surrounding area. It was a perfect day. I didn't know how perfect the morning would have turned out. It never got hot and was perfect to add to my snakeage. Unfortunately, I got there a little later than I wished and only saw one long-nosed snake.

Not satisfied, I returned to the same area at sunset and managed to see a dback right away. Actually, I walked passed this little dback at first, but I forgot my extra flashlight, and on my return back to the car, I spotted the little guy under a bush near the car. :D

Later, I spotted a gopher snake with a lot of enthusiasm and the fattest, plus-sized scorpion that I've ever seen. Scorpions in this area do really well.

Then, I saw a several kangaroo rats. I caught one by hand, but then let it go. Then, I was following one down the trail. I wasn't expecting much, until out from under some bush, I saw the rodent stop abruptly and squeak very loudly. I saw the rodent in the mouth of another dback. It let go the rodent, and the rodent died quickly. And then I watched the dback finish the job and devour the rodent. I've seen thousands of dbacks, but I've never seen one eating in the wild, so this was quite cool for me. 8)
_____________________
1 archive
Apr 24 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Butcher Jones Trail #463Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2017
gummo
Hiking5.40 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Why are my photosets not being listed on the home page? I really don't think they're that bad.

Most of my triplogs aren't very exciting, and this one is no exception. I hiked, saw 4 cardinals and heard more in the distance, and saw a coachwhip. My snakeage for 2017 is 97 with 11 coachwhips. Saguaros are blooming, and there's construction on the Bush Hwy.

Oh yeah, funny thing did happen on this hike. I caught a whiptail with my baseball hat (that's not the funny part). I thought that I missed it, so I put my hat on and hiked for a few minutes, then saw the coachwhip. I caught the coachwhip with my hat. When I released the coachwhip, the whiptail popped out of my hat as well and took off. Apparently, I did catch it and didn't know it (that's the funny part).
_____________________
Apr 09 2017
gummo
avatar

 Guides 7
 Photos 10,518
 Triplogs 175

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Bulldog Canyon via FR3554Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2017
gummo
Hiking10.00 Miles 1,534 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
1,534 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A solid day of snaking. I found 3 snakes, one was under some fiberglass. I also rescued a whiptail from a beer can. I'm terrible with video recording, but here's the video of the lizard that was trapped in the can.

[ youtube video ]
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average hiking speed 1.94 mph
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 9  Next

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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