Too Many Snakes, a Rock Dog, and a GPS Truck (Heard All Over the West) – High Country News – Get to Know the West
Here’s an unfortunate example of artificial intelligence giving someone real guidance. A tractor-trailer’s navigation steering system has been “relocated” in a major way, disturbing large numbers of onlookers and campers on their way to the picturesque Crystal Mill, six miles east of Marple in Gunnison County. How big an error did GPS make? Well, it sent the driver up the steep, very narrow, and very rocky Daniels Hill — a road that’s only navigable by ATVs, Jeeps, dirt bikes, hikers, and truck drivers who scare the bejes out of onlookers. IRT: The deadliest methods. Misinformation left the large platform crane hanging across the road for 40 hours until three tow trucks were able to remove it. Samantha Smith Wilkie, owner of Crystal River Jeep Tours, said she lost 10 reservations during the road closure, but she doesn’t blame the driver. “The driver went above and beyond,” she said. Aspen Daily News. “It’s not a trucking company. It’s a GPS software company.” Smith-Wilkie added that the misdirection systems mislead drivers onto remote forest roads instead of the correct routes to Gunnison or even Denver, concluding: “There is something wrong in this area.” Yes – and apparently there is a defect in the matrix.
They say every dog has their day, but most canines don’t spend their time howling at a free Metallica concert. A resourceful metal fan — and German Shepherd — named Storm snuck out of her Inglewood home and somehow slipped unnoticed through a gate and past security to settle comfortably into her own seat at SoFi Stadium, KTLA5 reported. Storm’s owners were baffled when a photo of their dog hanging out with partygoers went viral on social media, but were happy to welcome her home after she spent the night at an animal shelter.
There may be something in the dog food, because another unusual dog incident occurred in San Juan Bautista. KSBW.com reported that a confirmed terrier “learned a new meaning to the word ‘bark’ when he got stuck in a tree.” The dog somehow climbed 20 feet up a tree and became stranded on a limb. The Hollister Fire Department rescued the dog, deployed a safety net, climbed the tree and carried the pup down. Maybe there was another metal band playing nearby and the dog just wanted a good view?
A shaken homeowner in Mesa called a snake scavenger hunt after discovering a tangle of rattlesnakes hanging out in his garage, Fox10 Phoenix reported. The original owner of the house Guess– He estimated there were three, but there were actually 20: five adult Western Diamondbacks and 15 babies. Oh, and one of the snakes was pregnant with babies, or eggs, technically. Like some members of Congress, rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous, meaning their eggs hatch inside the mother rattlesnake, which then gives birth to live young. Snake herder Marissa Mackey, who found the reptiles comfortably lying around a hot water heater, used specialized tongs to grab them and carefully place them in plastic buckets for the trip to the desert. “This is our record for the most rattlesnakes caught in one call!” Brian Hughes, owner of Rattlesnake Solutions, said proudly. Given the number of snake skins they found, it is possible that as many as 40 were living there at one point. As Mackey notes, in what we consider a clear understatement, “That’s a lot of snakes.”
Here’s a great example of positive messaging. Bella Organic Farm on Sauvie Island uses 2.7 miles of paths in its seven-acre corn maze to say something important: “No more silence.” “Stop gun violence,” with the words accompanied by peace signs and heart shapes. A Bella Organic spokesman said Oregon“We hope this year’s maze brings our community together.” This seems to be a message that no one can get lost in.
Horse racing is traditionally the sport of kings, but Auburn’s Emerald Downs Racetrack has something for the common people, too. About 20 seniors hit the trail for the inaugural “Grandparents Race” held over Grandparents Weekend, King5 reported. Steve Butler of Everett, who received the award, told Emerald Downs that the last time he raced was against a linebacker during a high school football game 50 years ago. The famous racetrack hosts races for horses as well as corgis and bulldogs, not to mention the T-Rex World Championships, which we were a bit disappointed to learn involves people in costumes rather than contestants running around screaming from live dinosaurs.
Tiffany Midge is a citizen of the Standing Rock Nation and was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. her, Bury my heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s (Besson Books, 2019), was a Washington State Book Award nominee. It resides in north-central Idaho near the Columbia River Plateau, home of the nimipo.
Western oddities tips are appreciated and often shared in this column. He writes (email protected)or send a letter to the editor.