Thursday, July 9, 2009

Safety Third, As the Cool Kids Say

I might go to the Nelson Rocks Preserve to wind up our beach-to-mountain vacation beginning tomorrow, if it is still open. I am not a climber, but they apparently have a way non-climbers can try. Even if not, they have good trails, and those I can navigate.

Their long, entertaining and absolutely truthful disclaimer is one of the funniest things I've read. I was thinking about it while running/scrambling on the Billy Goat Trail last weekend. People take their kids out there all the time; I've taken mine (very carefully). But the prevailing attitude is either that I'm crazy for going running alone (I have never ever been bothered on a trail run, except by my homeless friend whose interference is confined to reminding me that I am running on land he owns and it is only because he is a generous person that he lets me do it) to well, hell, we can act as dumb as the rocks we stand on cause nothing's gonna happen to us here, right, I mean come on, it's so close to the Beltway! It's like Disney World, right?

Nelson Rocks says nahhhh:

"Real dangers are present even on trails. Trails are not sidewalks. They can be, and are, steep, slippery and dangerous. ... They are unsafe, period. Live with it or stay away....A whole rock formation might collapse on you and squash you like a bug. Don't think it can't happen...

"If you scramble in high places (scrambling is moving over terrain steep enough to use your hands) without proper experience, training and equipment, or allow children to do so, you are making a terrible mistake. Even if you know what you're doing, lots of things can go wrong and you may be injured or die. It happens all the time...."

Just don't wear an iPod when you go running, for heaven's sake. Why you'd want those wires and shit all up in your ears and around your neck anyway, I don't know.

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