I called Keith back to look at it. The snake wasn't rattling, but was hissing his tongue a bit. I thought it prudent to go off trail and around. Keith threw a small stick right on top of it trying to move if off trail so those coming behind wouldn't accidentally step on it. The snake didn't move. What does Keith do? He grabs his hiking pole and proceeds to pick it up to move it off the trail, while I watch with horror envisioning some super-powered snake move where the rattler darts forward with lightning speed to sink large fangs in Keith's chest. Thankfully, the rattler simply curled up on the pole and allowed itself to be moved off trail. We later learned from a hiker ahead of us that the snake was probably so docile because it had just devoured a chipmunk and was full. Keith has agreed to not use his hiking pole anymore to move poisonous snakes. :-)
Virginia has been quite beautiful and we've enjoyed many scenic views of green valleys and farms below. We're looking forward to hitting Shenandoah National Park in about ten days.