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Bitten by Rattlesnake Gulch

June 22, 2012

For all intensive purposes one would have surmised that I would have been bitten by a rattlesnake on this short gulch leading to the Pipeline trail in Millcreek Canyon. For several years, I have come weekly, and often daily, to Millcreek to run my favorite accessible trails in SLC. I often begin my run on the .6 mile climb from the road up the gulch and will venture as far as Lambs Canyon, Mt. Aire, Grandeur Peak or Alexander Ridge. Most times the most eventful aspects of running these trails are the numerous bikers and hikers you have to encounter while running these amazing trails.

Today, was much different. Slowed by the heavy dinner I ate, I took to the trails at about 7pm. For brevity sake, I started again at Rattlesnake Gulch and slowly ascended to the Pipeline. Encountering the typical bikers, hikers and dog enthusiasts, I casually enjoyed the canyon views and turned around shortly after Church Fork. With no intention of making my dinner become unsettled, I kept an easy pace and began my decent on the technical gulch. Those who have run with me know that I take descents at warp speed with reckless abandon. However, I felt that this was unnecessary today and more likely a cause of an upset stomach then I would have desired. Gently trotting down the gulch, I saw several canine friends approaching. Not thinking much of it, I did not change my pace and saw them stepping off trail as expected. There in lies the surprise. Low and behold, out of the corner of my eye I saw a set of pearlie white teeth glisten, and with rattlesnake like reflexes the dog bit me. Stunned and satisfied that it had not drawn blood or dramatically hinder my stride so as to initiate a climactic crash, I pressed on perplexed that this dog had the bravado to bite me. Shortly, I came upon the owner of this dog and about 3 others. Inarticulate and still stunned, I started the conversation with the classy ‘Howdy!’ I asked the woman if those were her dogs, with which she immediately replied, “Yes, why. What did he do?” I replied, “Well Mame, the black and brown dog tried to take a bite out of me. Fortunately I was going so fast he couldn’t get a good bite.” Knowing better than that, I more realistically think the dog thought I tasted like arse. Extremely apologetic and embarrassed the woman said before she rushed away to get the dog, “While he just doesn’t seem to like single men.”

With that I watched as she scattered to find her entourage of animals. Thinking to myself, well if I had been single I wonder if that dog would have done more damage to me. Poor lady has probably dozens of mutilated men in her home because of that darn dog.

Oh well. Time to go home.

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