I had just doffed my pack when arriving at our campsite in the Gila Wilderness last weekend when my friend Tom said, “Look – a rattlesnake.” And there, right where I had planned to pitch my tent, was this southwestern character. It was hard to miss, with that telltale rattling going on. If it felt cornered it might have struck. We set this annoying but beautiful and potentially dangerous reptile up for success by backing away slowly. We more carefully watched where we stepped during the rest our foray into one of my most favorite natural places. Coming soon: my close encounter with another interesting pair of wild creatures.