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RiverCat Journal : The Professional Snake-Handlers Conference

Posted by on May 27, 2013

Current Venue:  Las Vegas
Campground: Thousand Trails

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Consecutive Travel Days without an  Incident: 2

I did struggle with a hill in Boulder City where Railroad Pass Casino is.  The on-ramp stoplight is situated on a very steep incline.  I should have gone into low gear on this one, but instead took in slow in drive.  The tranny growled at me, but we got through it.

Before shoving off, I spent two hours scrubbing 48 Ugly.  During my stay in Black Rock, we got pelted pretty good with dirt from high winds.  After spending an entire week cleaning this rig, all my work had been undone.  My rig is now “splotchy.”  It’s weird, just millions of little dots that I simply can’t get off without giving each one some individual attention.  I used two different chemicals, but to no avail.  I was really fretting this new development — both The Hitchin’ Post and Thousand Trails accept “some” older rigs per approval.

But alas, it was simply futile.  I accomplished very little, but it was time to hit the road.  But hey, I got to spend the morning in my little hideaway in the desert and assist in the “capture” of a certain snake…

I’d seen the snake the day before — about two foot long with black and yellow markings.  It had quickly slithered underneath the steps.  Well on this day I observed an old fella talking to his mop in the same vicinity as I’d seen the snake.  And while it was clear this guy was “desert folk” with the distinct possibility he could really be talking to this mop, I quickly realized what was going on.

Yep, he had the snake pinned under the mop.  Well, sorta — the snake was more or less tolerating it.  Here’s how my exchange went with the old man:


RiverCat:  Hey that’s the snake I saw yesterday. [Now face-to-face with the snake].

Old Man:  Yeah he’s purty ain’t he?  I don’t think it’s poisonous.

RiverCat:  No, it’s not.  So what are you trying to do?  Can I help?

Old Man:  I need a fork or something…

RiverCat:  A fork?!

Old Man:  No, no.  You know what I mean…something to pin him down so I kin pick em up.  [I broke a twig in half…]

RiverCat:  Will this do?

Now bear in mind here that under normal circumstances I might have picked up the snake just for the sake of doing so (while I’m by no means a good snake-handler).  However, I was behind-schedule and didn’t like the thought of worrying about a snakebite infection during a travel/setup day.  But notice how his plan shifts here…

RiverCat:  So you want me to pin him while you pick him up?

Old Man:  &%$# NO!  I’m not picking him up!  How ya know he ain’t poisonous?  If you wanna take that chance go ahead!  [Snake is waiting patiently under the mop.  The sheriff now pulls up in his SUV and greetings are exchanged.  As this is happening, the snake “escapes”  and begins to slither towards the steps].

RiverCat:  Ok, so if I catch him where do you want to take him?

Old Man:  I dunno.

It’s clear to me there really is no plan.  As the snake is halfway between the crack in the steps, I gently secure him as if to say “hold on a sec”, and he waits as if to say “ok but I’m getting bored here.”  After a quick discussion with the Old Man and “the authorities” we quickly determined that, at worst, this docile creature would probably frighten some old ladies.  I released it.

It’s funny.  Cal-Nev-Ari is less than 200 miles from Brenda, Arizona where, on a regular basis the residents know EXACTLY how to handle rattlesnakes (not a catch-and-release program).  But here they act as if they’d never seen one!  In fact, the manager of the store had lived here all her life and had only seen TWO!

I wonder how many times an entire police force has been dispatched for something like this.

Well I’m safe and sound in Las Vegas.  More on that my next post…



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