Without a measuring tape in hand or getting any closer than I already was, my best guess is that from nose to tail this one measures close to 2 feet. Its front feet are the size of a big chocolate chip cookie, and I wouldn’t want to get very close to those claws, let alone the mouth that’s just behind them. A snapper this size could take off a finger in a single bite, and I wouldn’t want it anywhere near any other body part, either.
This snapper was apparently moving between ponds at Roundtop, perhaps lazing its way down the seasonal stream that runs beside the main parking lot. Perhaps it was too big to travel through the drainage ditch that goes under this road and was simply going over the road in order to continue on its way. Perhaps it decided to sun itself for a few minutes in the process.
Snapping turtles are pretty common here, especially with all the snowmaking ponds and streams around. It is not terribly common for them to appear on dry land. I see them a few times a year, though their path of destruction is more visible than that. They are pretty hard on the mountain’s crops of ducklings and goslings. A snapper this size could probably take mama duck, too.
It’s just not everyday that I catch one going the wrong way on a one-way street. But like an 18-wheeler, this one has whatever right of way he wants.