Adventures Abroad
Comments 11

Swimming with Snakes in the Poconos

We’re lounging on the beach in Dingman’s Ferry covertly sipping wine, sangria and various rum concoctions from our water bottles when my friend suddenly announces that there’s a snake in the water.

A freakin’ snake.

In the same water that we’ve just canoed across to get to said beach, and the same water that we fully intend to go swimming in just as soon as we’ve finished our drinks.

Experienced naturalist that I am, I run up to the water’s edge with my camera and sure enough, there’s a snake:

snake in water

“Come rescue it!” I shout to The Wedding Date.  “You can just tap it on the head to see if it bites, like you did with the turtle.”

He promptly informs me that he’s a turtle whisperer, not a snake charmer, which in turn prompts my friend’s fiancé to announce that it’s a copperhead.  And that copperheads are perfectly good swimmers.  And that their venom is also poisonous.

So we go back to our “water” bottles and our paperbacks and take bets on the survival of two middle aged women paddling backward across the lake in a rickety rubber boat.  But they make it—albeit rather haphazardly—so we find ourselves in need of another form of amusement: paddle boarding.

I didn’t even know what paddle boarding was until my friend’s fiancé pulled one of the paddles from the canoe and headed over to an abandoned oversized surfboard lying on the sand.  But paddle boarding is almost as cool as extreme kayaking, and seeing as the water was basically riddled with venomous snakes, there was the added thrill of potentially plummeting to one’s death.

We started out cautiously:

Dingman's Ferry

And then things got a little crazy:

two-person paddle boarding

dingam's ferry

Finally, I decided to give it a try.  And The Wedding Date filmed.  Unfortunately I’m having trouble uploading the footage so you’ll just have to believe me when I say that if paddle boarding was an Olympic sport, I’d totally be headed to London next month.

paddle boarding in Poconos

This entry was posted in: Adventures Abroad


Hi! My name is Kat Richter and I’m a writer, dancer and professor of anthropology. I live in Philadelphia with my boyfriend, PIC (aka Partner in Crime) and I started writing this blog to keep myself from going insane when I realized that an MA in Dance Anthropology wasn't the most obvious route to gainful employment. I like to talk travel, design, relationships, writing and a whole host of other things, some funny, some serious, which I like to call "fieldwork."


  1. This sounds more like an episode of “Fear Factor” than a family vacation. You guys are a WHOLE LOT braver than me – I would have paddle boarded my way back to shore and wouldn’t have stopped until I reached the nearest bar.

  2. I’m not sure, but I think vodka-pickled copperhead is a delicacy. I’m glad you didn’t fall into a venomous death.

  3. So brave to be paddle boarding in snake infested waters! I am impressed. And you look fabulous together in your swimwear. And really, what is more important than that?

    • Haha, very true! Although the couple depicted in the photographs isn’t actually me and TWD; it’s my friend and her fiance (but yes, they are cute together, aren’t they?)

  4. As much as I love extreme sporting with you, anything involving potentially poisenous snakes is a no…

  5. Landlord says

    That is YOU in the last photo though, and I too, can NOT believe you went in the water after spotting the snake…EWW. I am such a big chicken, but you know that. I have to get this image out of my head—

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