I have tried to beginning hiking more since I moved to southern California.
In Florida I had to deal with rattlesnakes, venomous spiders, and big alligators that can kill you in a matter of fourths.
The last thing on my mind in the woods was black bears, although I ended up seeing one once while I was deep in the backwoods on a mountain bike. I remember telling my dad about it right away, but he didn’t know me until I showed him the photo I hastily captured with my smartphone. But it was the snakes more than anything else that gave me extreme trepidation while hiking the woods in southwest Florida. There are multiple 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, California, I thought I would be getting out of the swamp and away from the venomous snakes. Little did I think that California is home to 8 weird 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 particularly pressing when I take my portable cannabis vaporizer with me into the woods. I want to like the outdoor environment of southern California, 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 home to a rattlesnake nest, so it’s smart to be vigilant even if you aren’t hiking in the Santa Monica mountains.