Saturday, September 19, 2009

Caution: The Nuts Are Out

While cruising the trail with some boys last night, we ran across our good friend, Patrick........which has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of this article.

No, I'm talking here about acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts and their type. With the recent cool weather and heavy rains, these trail and road hazards are already falling, along with wind-blown leaves and small limbs.The big hard-shelled varieties like hickory nuts and walnuts are more likely to take a rider down than the lowly acorn, but the acorn can appear in great numbers, making up in ball-bearing efficiency what they may lack in mass.

Leaves can pose a slippery hazard and they can also serve as camouflage for nuts and rocks. It pays to remain alert, even as Fall marches on and your frequency of encounters with leaves becomes an everyday reality. A few of those leaves may be rocks. A whitewater analogy comes to mind involving a big wave-train rapid on a river we ran in Chile. Our guide explained that the huge waves could be run down the middle; however in rapids this big you only get a quick peek of the line ahead as you crest the waves. He cautioned to count the waves and then move right as you approach the last big wave at the bottom of the drop. The name of the rapid: "The Last Wave Is A Rock"

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