Oh sure, some reptiles found along the trail are harmless. It might be startling to almost step on slow-moving, bright orange eft, but it probably won’t hurt you.
Seeing a huge snake in the trail is another matter. First, it makes one’s heart stop! Then there are mind-racing decisions to be made: what kind of snake is this? Is it poisonous? Will it be aggressive? What should I do? EEEEK! (We saw a number of harmless black snakes and racing-striped garter snakes crossing the trail this spring. Other hikers found rattlesnakes in the path.)
But the scariest critter of all? Be very, very careful if you head for the resupply town of Glasgow, VA. There is a giant dinosaur in a field in the middle of town!
Fortunately, I hike with a elven warrior. She usually carries her (stick and string) bow. But she’s had plenty of practice fighting with her staff. Whew!
(Check out a news story about the Dino April Fool’s prank HERE.)