Friday, August 12, 2011

Only In Montana

Last week I found myself driving up the road to the ranch with three friends in the car and a headless rattlesnake hanging out the window.

In another story, on our way to this week's peak, Ramshorn, we literally had to drive through a herd of cattle on the road.  The cows were all kinds of confused as we slowly puttered along and they could not decide whether to go left, right, or just stand there and stare at us.  Cow-jam.

Back to the rattlesnake.  Last week on one of the rides our head wrangler caught sight of a rattlesnake-a creature that is nothing but dangerous to horses and people on the ranch alike.  While most people would just give it a wide berth and let it be unless they had, say, a gun, he decided it would be more prudent to take it on with nothing more than rope and a knife. (my friend was hiking behind the ride and saw this all firsthand).  

First, he injured it with his rope, leaving a gash in the side of it as he whipped it.  Undeterred, the rattlesnake struck at him and stayed coiled up by the side of the road.  This called for a different tack-he threw a rock on top of its head, put his foot on there to pin it, and proceeded to cut its head off, along with the rattle to show the kids.  Oh and to help you picture this guy, he rocks a handlebar mustache-as if he needed to be more badass.  The body continued to writhe the whole time they remained in the area, and the head-without-a-body hissed and opened its mouth repeatedly as if to bite something.

So the next day my friend decided he wanted to make something out of the snake's skin.  On our way back from Electric Peak we stopped and picked up the headless body and he rolled down his window and hung onto it through that since it was still dripping blood.  He has hopes to make a wallet from it and  maybe an inlay for a belt buckle.

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