Saturday, December 10, 2011

Run Skip Run! Those Rattlers Are Going To Get You!

It was a sunny day in Marina, California.  Skip had been sitting there waiting patiently to get loaded.  He was on his tractor-trailer at the Dole Plant to pick up Salad Mix in bags packed into boxes and put on pallets and shrink-wrapped to hold all the boxes securely on each pallet. 

He got out of his truck and met up with another driver who was Jamaican.  He was also, waiting to get loaded.  They talked and were passing time until one suggested 'hey, let's walk there and get something to eat off that food wagon'.  The food wagon was a mile up the road and the guard had told them where it was.  The drivers referred to the food wagon as a 'roach coach'.

Well, when you are in unfamiliar territory in California, you don't know what you're getting into when you 'walk over there' off the beaten path.  I'd been there many times when I drove with Skip... I wasn't with him this time.... but, I got to share this experience by phone!  In my mind I could see how the landscape looked.... all of that white sand everywhere ... big trucks parked on it along the side of the road waiting for their turn to drive up to the guardhouse to check in. 

'Walking over there' meant walking where normally no one walked... across the sand where golden grass was blowing in the ocean breeze.  They walked through an old abandoned railroad bed no longer in use.  The food wagon which was really a food truck that came around to the companies to park and sell food to the people who worked and came out on break to buy sandwiches and coffee and drinks and cakes.  Normally one would just walk where everyone walked, not the way they walked!  It was a bad mistake!

Anyway... as they got midway to the food wagon, Skip saw a big western diamond-back rattlesnake laying on the ground in front of him.... rattling!  He said to the Jamaican guy 'there are rattlesnakes all over out here, let's get out of here!'  The Jamaican guy was scared and yelled to Skip 'C'mon man, c'mon man, let's go!'  As they both ran... they began to 'see' all those rattlesnakes ... they  blended well into the colors of the sand and golden grasses so, they weren't noticed at first!  Skip called me and he was excited about what had happened.. and I could hear his Jamaican friend talking excitedly in the background... I could see in my mind what had happened as... some time before.. I had found out how well the snakes blend into the colors of the desert sand in Texas!  The colors are almost the same! 

Skip let the Jamaican man speak to me on the phone and he said 'it was horrible, there were snakes everywhere!'  I could sense both of them were so pumped up on the adrenaline... I could hear it in their voices and it made me feel excited and... I so wished I was there!  I wanted to see!  I love excitement as long as no one gets hurt. 

The rattlesnakes live there because there are gophers everywhere.  They have holes all out in the sand where they live.  Rattlesnakes love to eat gophers!

I can see in my mind Skip running.... he used to run 10 miles daily in the Army in Special Forces.  Also, when his sister and brother-in-law ran Top Ten Karate in Lynchburg, Virginia he ran nightly 8-10 miles.  He was employed by his brother-in-law and sister as a karate instructor.  They would take karate students and run.  Skip's fast, I know he sailed over those rattlesnakes outrunning that Jamaican guy!  Run Skip Run!

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