The Valley of the Kings 2:
The Curse of the Pharaohs

Crotalus atrox

Soon after Howard Carter first entered King Tut's tomb his pet golden canary, a symbol of luck in ancient Egypt, was struck dead by a cobra, the guardian of the Pharoah. As human members of the expedition began to sicken and die, rumors that they were afflicted by the ancient curses protecting the tomb began to fly. Do I believe in curses? Well, listen to my story...

We had been trying to explore mines rather unsuccessfully all day. The problem was, the entire valley seemed infested with snakes. Every mine we tried to go in, we'd inevitably hear that ominous buzz that seems to chill even those who are unfamiliar with its source, the western diamond backed rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox. In one case I slid down the sloped entry of a pit, somehow convinced that reptiles wouldn't like to be so far down. I found myself face to face with an enraged snake. I bounded out of the pit almost as fast as I had come down.

Finally we found one tunnel that after some cautious probing seemed to be empty of any venomous pests. We squeezed in through the narrow opening and explored two levels of underground tunnels. Relieved that the entire day hadn't been wasted we trudged back up the final tunnel to the surface. A.C. went to leave first, and as I began passing the backpack through to her, she startled me with a rough shove, pushing us both into the mine again and on our backs in the dirt. Outside we both heard the angry buzz of the rattlesnake who had been trying to get in.

We tried a number of strategies to frighten the snake away. Rocks were heaved out the opening, sticks and dead plants that had drifted into the mine were thrashed around, we made loud noises; nothing worked. Every time one of us peered around the corner of that narrow passage the snake was waiting there. I was steeling myself to spend the night in the farthest corner of the mine, away from the snake and hope that it would vacate before morning.

Finally challenged by A.C. who had no intention of spending a food-less, waterless, and sleepless night down in a mine, I crept out through the tunnel, mere inches from the snake.

In that moment, as I crept past that potentially fatal bite, I begged. I know not to whom as I have never believed in a God, this was no prayer I whispered. But as for curses? In the darkest reaches of our subconscious, among our most primal fears, perhaps there the old gods, Osiris, Horus, Anubis, still reign. Perhaps even now they wait on their thrones, laughing at our arrogance until we come crawling back to them.

The mummy!


See the world, they
told me...

bayou goula towhead

the sea test

the circumnavigator pt5
the circumnavigator pt4
the circumnavigator pt3
the circumnavigator pt2
the circumnavigator pt1
falling dream
the darkness
one hell of a mile 3&4
he will return
the believers
the horror pt2
the horror pt1
death valley

paradise of outlaws
the mountain climbers 1&2
brought to surface
one hell of a mile 3
the lost world
inner gorge
a ghost story
the riddle
slaying the minotaur
heart of darkness
public lands
organ music
two sought adventure
the virgin river
the road north

steal the world
the end of the world
el dorado
the valley of the kings 2
the valley of the kings 1
one hell of a mile 2
one hell of a mile 1
the mountain climbers rr4
heroes rr3
rainy roadtrip 2
rainy roadtrip 1
the transgression
sinister 2
sinister 1
new chapter

like sedona?
torn in two
bridge to nowhere
the door
hitting the wall
elusive 2
elusive 1
pick up lines

revisited 2
revisited 1
which way?
lost mines
in their footsteps
a dance with death

casting the bones
mountain thief
the deer hunter
strange temple
burial pt. 3
burial pt. 2
burial pt. 1
the apparition
return to hell
the lower depths
underground lake
stretch sewer
the hidden lab
shadow movements
meager rations
sw8: the conclusion
sw7: lost gold mines
sw6: the big tubes
sw5: gold!
sw4: el calderon
sw3: redondo
sw2: ghosts
sw1: westward bound
formaldehyde dreams
the underdark
in the beginning