Saturday, February 4, 2017

--- The worst ---

The worst weather for hiking....

The second worse is hot and humid summer days. I've mostly left those behind in Selma. But the worst is ice.

I love snow but when you have to concentrate on every step you take to keep your feet from flying out from under you, walking is no longer fun.

The day after I moved to Colorado, I took a stroll in the park across the street and reconnected with black ice. Black ice is refrozen ground moisture and it is very slick. If there was oil on the street, it has had a chance to rise to the top, so it coats the surface of the ice. I was on my back before I realized that I had fallen.

The crows laughed at me. Crows have a very slapstickish sense of humor. They even laugh at each other when one of them does something stupid.

Generally, I get along with crows. If you do something bad to a crow, they will scream at you, specifically, for years. Every crow from miles around will know you and harass you. Crows and ravens generally accept me around here. They let me know when there's something up ahead I need to watch out for or a point of interest.

We had about a quarter inch ice on all the pavement Wednesday and Thursday and according to my rule that no weather will stop me, I made my regular grocery runs.

There are three  rules for walking on ice. Pay close attention to every move you make. If you don't keep your center of gravity in the right place, gravity will take you down.

Walk on the balls of your feet. I'm against the idea that there's one way to walk that fits everyone. My old Boy Scout manual prescribed a heel striking gait. If I adhered to that I would break my ankles. But on ice, you should stay on your toes - literally. As soon as your heel lands firmly on the ground, you are committed to that step. As long as the pressure is on your toes, you have considerable flexibility as to which way you can move your feet. On ice, it allows you to quickly adjust your stance to counteract slippage.

The last rule is the same for driving on ice:

No sudden changes.
No quick moves.

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