I have tried to start hiking more since I moved to southern CA.
In Florida I had to deal with rattlesnakes, venomous spiders, and large alligators that can kill you in a matter of hours.
The last thing on our mind in the woods was black bears, but I ended up seeing a single once while I was deep in the backwoods on a mountain bike. I remember telling our dad about it right away, but she didn’t guess myself and others until I showed him the photo I abruptly captured with our smartphone. But it was the snakes more than anything else that provided myself and others dire trepidation while hiking the woods in southwest Florida. There are 6 known species of venomous snakes in Florida—cottonmouth, southern copperhead, eastern diamondback, dusky pygmy, timber rattlesnake, and eastern coral snake. When I moved to Tarzana, CA, I thought I would be getting out of the swamp and away from the venomous snakes. Little did I know that CA is new home to several odd rattlesnakes, including the western diamondback and the northern pacific rattlesnake among others. When I go hiking in Topanga State Park, I am constantly vigilant about not being careless with snake safety. This is certainly pressing when I take our portable cannabis vaporizer with myself and others into the woods. I want to like the outdoor environment of southern CA, however not at the expense of clumsily walking into a rattlesnake while I’m on a trail in Topanga State Park. Even yards within Tarzana could be new home to a rattlesnake nest, so it’s smart to be vigilant even if you aren’t hiking in the Santa Monica mountains.