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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hiker recovering from snake bite

Associated Press

BEND, Ore. – Searching for fall colors, Marsha Phelps and her three friends hiked into the Crooked River Canyon of Central Oregon. She came out on a stretcher with a rattlesnake bite on her finger, and then got a fast helicopter ride to Bend.

“There are marks all up and down my arm where they tracked the swelling and at what rate,” Phelps said from her hospital room.

Phelps said she had made her way Monday over several big boulders and said she thought she’d put her hand on a sticker bush, “so I pulled my arm back.”

Attached to her finger was a footlong Western rattlesnake.

“There was no rattle,” Phelps said of the usual sound from such a snake. “So it was a total surprise.”

Phelps said she was surprised not to feel ill – the numbness in her lips and tongue didn’t come on until later.

There was no cellphone service, so they hiked until they could call 911. A rescue unit from the fire district at the Crooked River Ranch resort responded.

Phelps said she got an anti-venom injection and lots of blood tests.

Chief Tim McLaren said rattlesnakes are common in the area. If bitten, victims should stay still because mobility speeds the venom through the bloodstream, and they shouldn’t try to suck out the venom, he said.

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