By: Kristy Holland
When hiking in familiar places, people often expect the situation and animals encountered to be the same as the last time you walked the trail. This article tells the story of a woman who almost lost her life because she wasn't properly prepared for her situation of being bitten by a rattlesnake.
In this article, Lorraine Jonsson was hiking in Franklin Canyon Park, located just outside Los Angeles. She was very familiar with the trail, having walked on it several times a week. However, she was unaware that she was walking along a trail that was inhabited by rattlesnakes, as it was a prime mating and basking spot. Only 100 meters into the trail, she was surprised by a very angry rattlesnake, who had already sunk its fangs twice into her exposed ankle. Lorraine felt the effects immediately, having blurred vision and loss of balance. This rattlesnake was a rare, more dangerous species, whose toxins would interfere with the brain signals to the respiratory system. She had no cell service and had told no one where she was going. She crawled to the nearest road, where she was picked up by a couple who drove her to the hospital, where she was treated in the ICU for several weeks.
While this article did open my eyes to the fact that anything can happen on the trail, Lorraine could have taken extra precautions. She was not with anyone and she didn’t tell anyone where she was going, which is a must for any hiker who walks alone. She was familiar with the trail, so she thought that she was prepared for any encounter. If Lorraine was so familiar with the l that she didn’t feel the need to tell anyone, then she should’ve been able to easily recognize the warning signs of where a snake may be on the trail. This error nearly cost Lorraine her life. This article taught me to always prepare for the unexpected, even when in familiar territory.
Holland, Kristy. "Out Alive: Bitten by a Rattlesnake." Backpacker. N.p., June 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2015