Isn’t he cute? I’m getting him started on hiking young! My sister, her son, Dax, and I went hiking after work last Thursday. It was quite the adventure, let me tell you! Dax trekked up the mountain with minimal complaining though, and since it was paved, we ran down together. Which was good, because as soon as we got to the top the sun started setting. While half of the hike is paved, the first half is through the desert. Luckily, it’s mostly level from that point on, but we didn’t expect what happened 20 minutes before the end of our hike. I spent most of the time leading the way, and because of all my training, I was at a distance of about 15 feet from Jessica and Dax. I had stopped to let them catch up, and heard the loudest rattle EVER. I immediately knew what it was, and luckily, so did Jessica. Even if she didn’t, she got an up-close-and-personal view of the rattlesnake about a foot from her. Hiding under a tree, the rattler was clearly unhappy with our trespassing. Jess yelled “DAX,” and let me tell you, that kid BOOKED it to me. Jessica came up behind him and he threw himself into her arms, wailing “Why did you scare me so bad??!?” Amazingly, Dax heard the tone of his mother’s voice and knew that there was danger and to run but had no idea what he was running from! When we told him what was wrong, he was surprised to hear he’d been so close to a snake and bummed he didn’t get to see it. Although he calmed down, we were all nervous after that so my 100-pound sister ended up carrying her 50-pound son piggy back almost the rest of the way to the car. If there was enough light at that point, it would have been quite the sight! Hopefully we didn’t scar him too bad, because I’d love to take him again. During the day.