A little over a mile and half into our journey, we stopped. “Halted in our tracks” is probably more accurate. S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d across the trail, with his head raised, his tail sailing back and forth, and his tongue flicking in and out, was a beautiful — if intimidating — rattlesnake.
The run was Coyote Creek Trail. My partner today was my seven year old. Known by his teachers as Reece. Known by his dad and mom, since he was born, as Reece-pie (Rees-sea-pie).
Having just mastered cycling last month, it was his first real time out with me. We would go a very easy five miles. He on his bike. Me on my legs. My frequent running partner, Wishbone our dog, came too.
Realizing what lie ahead, Reece almost cried in fear. He quickly collected himself. He knows I have seen at least a half dozen snakes in the past few years and I have always been fine. With his nerves in check, he set down his bike. I clenched the dogs leash, and we slowly made our way to just five or six feet from the snake. Reece-pie was in awe. He couldn’t wait to tell his brothers. “They are going to be soooo jealous!”
After the snake, we walked down to the creek just below. And by walked down, I mean Reece-pie had his shoes and helmet off before I knew what was happening. Right in the water he went and right behind him went our dog.
Back on the road, and suddenly fancying himself a young Lance, my son shouted to nobody in particular, “Ladies and gentlemen, Miles in my new name.”
We traveled until we hit the South Valley Flying Club (or something like that). It is a place along the trail where adults fly remote control airplanes. While I refilled the water bottle, my son watched one plane fly, and examined three on the ground.
As we got moving again, I cracked up hearing him say, “It feels good to get back on the bike, mom.”
With about a half mile left on our journey, my son turned to me, “Thanks mom for the best day of my life.” And then he added, “Well, one of the best days.” Followed after careful consideration with, “Well, one of the best non-holiday non-birthday days. It was really fun.”