The highlight of my day may have been hiking the mountain trail to view Linville Falls. This hike was quite a challenge for me. Sure, I’m out of shape, but that wasn’t the problem. I am absolutely terrified of snakes, and I normally do everything I can to avoid wooded paths during the summer. But I was determined not to let that fear keep me from seeing the falls. I made it to the first viewing area without any threatening encounters and was on my way to pick up the trail to the second overlook when a friendly hiker suggested I might want to photograph the you-know-what that was curled up on a tree beside the path. I know some people will think I sound silly, but I immediately froze and put my hands up to shield my peripheral view. I had no choice; I had to go forward to out of the woods. I not-so-calmly explained to the hiker that I could not look at the you-know-what and asked her to please talk me through that section of the path. She laughed, but she walked with me back to the main trail. At that point, I considered running back to my car but I really, really wanted to see the falls from the upper overlook. Fortunately, the friendly hiker was willing to be my lookout for the rest of the trek, and I was able to see this great view of the falls.