On the road early this morning to explore, drive the back roads, and follow the Oregon Trail. We stayed out longer than planned, playing "just one more cache." At our last (really) cache of the day, in the fading light, DW pulled over on the side of a dirt road, and got out to start looking.
I hopped out of the Pilot, and just two feet away, coiled up between two sagebrush bushes, was a Pacific rattlesnake. As fast as I got out, I was back inside. I lowered the window and called for DW, pointing out my window, and saying, "Snake!" At least I think I was saying the word, not yelling it. I'm not sure.
He finally got the message and came around the back of the Pilot to have a look, and his eyes got pretty big. Maybe just as big as mine. But I could still aim the Nikon out the window, and take a few photos. And then we drove to the other side of the road, and found the cache.
I lived in eastern Washington for seven years, and never saw a rattlesnake. For decades I've traveled through the snake country of the West, without ever seeing even a hint of a snake. And twice in the past three months, I've ended up way too close to a coiled rattlesnake for comfort.