Re: Spring Break


Now we need to debate again what's a daddy long legs, opillion, harvestman, or wolf spider.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 5:43 AM
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A favorite destination when I lived in Houston. Most memorably on the first night of a driving trip to Los Angeles for an extended Thanksgiving visit I spent the first night sleeping on top of the rock. it was pretty deserted that time of year and at sunset I snuck out of the campground and up top with my sleeping bag and ground pad. Given how exposed the front face is to view I assume I took a stealthy route but cannot really recall now 45 years on. A relatively cold and uncomfortable night, but I deemed it a worthwhile endeavor at the time.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 5:45 AM
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I don't like enclosed places, with or without spiders.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 6:07 AM
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I'm but sure how I feel about weirdly sexualized names for spiders.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 6:13 AM
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Not sure.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 6:13 AM
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1. Crane fly in UK.

Posted by: Chris Y | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 6:27 AM
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Cranes fly here too.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 6:42 AM
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I think Texas outdoor recreation areas are also just not very concerned about proactively policing risks or liability. The walk down entry into Barton Springs Pool is very slippery! I was always surprised they didn't force people to use the ladders or dive into deeper areas.

Posted by: CB | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 7:23 AM
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Plus, they shoot at you if you visit a historical landmark.

Posted by: Opinionated Santa Anna | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 7:38 AM
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Enchanted Rock is great. I remember mistakenly calling it "Mount Everest" from time to time as a kid.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 7:47 AM
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4: The specimen here is sure how it feels:

Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 8:05 AM
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Dying from being trapped in amber is clearly similar to autoerotic asphyxiation.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 8:08 AM
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This cave is a peculiar one where I'm vaguely surprised that the risk of a lawsuit hasn't shut the whole thing down yet.

It's usually impossible to sue a state in state court unless they've passed legislation expressly providing for it, right? And then federal jurisprudence keeps the federal government from being a backstop. I can imagine the land of tort reform kept those situations narrow over the years, maybe narrower now.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 8:17 AM
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The "risky" part of Enchanted Rock to me (and I think what causes the most problems) is the way the smooth curve of its surface can lead folks to somewhat inadvertently wander onto dangerously steep portions (especially towards the back side). I assume it can be nerve-wracking with adventurous kids.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 8:38 AM
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Its a ROCK, Zoey.

Posted by: Opinionated Elmo | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 1:00 PM
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There's a notable difference between Canada and the U.S. on this. In Canada, the touristy trails in Banff/Jasper are now very risk-monitored -- guardrails, paved paths -- and everything outside of it is deemed backcountry and permit only. Arches/Canyonlands? Some of it is permit-only, and some ADA compliant areas are built up more, but most of it allows you to fall off rocks if you want to.

We watched a dude drop his water bottle, which rolled off an edge, and nearly follow it in his attempt to catch it, at the Whale in Moab two years ago. Big slick rock, lots of exposure, after rain -- perfect hike for the kiddies!

Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 1:50 PM
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American hiking trails are so dangerous we lost Julian Sands.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 2:49 PM
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I knew someone who sued successfully for negligence on a ski trail. He was a law professor. I believe that some states have passed laws saying that these are inherently risky activities and you assume the risk. I think you sign stuff when you buy a lift ticket. Clearly, those terms may be unenforceable, but they're definitely thinking about it.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 3:41 PM
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I guess I've only heard of suing in court.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 3:44 PM
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YIKES. I have a CRAZY neighbor.

Back in August a tree on the edge of our property fell on the power lines. The power company came and removed it. It pulled on the wires enough that they pulled away a bit from the house of the person across the street. She was told by the power company that it was her responsibility.

She wanted to get our insurance to pay. Our agent called her to let her know that it was considered an Act of God and that our neighbor's insurance would have to pay. She didn't want to file a claim, because she had a deductible. The tree wasn't dead, so we had no reason to be concerned. She is Swiss, and I think she had a different understanding of how insurance works.

Meanwhile she spent a lot of time trying to contact our insurance company to get reimbursed, then she sent us a copy of her her electrical expenses.

There is a setback on property where trees are the responsibility of the town. We reached out to the tree warden. He responded once quite promptly and said that the setbacks varied for every property, and he would have to look at the maps., We've followed up 2 times. I've been told they can be slow.

TODAY we got and e-mail where she complained that we had told her we would get the trees assessed and that she has been living in fear and anxiety that our trees would fall on her house, her car or her person, and she can not live like this. Our neighborhood is woodsy. All of the houses have tall pine trees on them - including hers.

She said she has hired a lawyer and will go to Court to force us to do something about our trees. I suspect that she hasn't. I mean. if she had engaged a lawyer, wouldn't it be the lawyer's responsibility to communicate with us.

We'll reach out to the town again for now, but our insurance agent said she'd never seen anything like this.

I thought of you, LB, and something you said about how much harder it was to engage with incompetent litigants than with competent ones. In this case, it's just craziness.

I'm guessing that if she did sue, since she's not just asking for money, she would have to go to Superior Court and not Small Claims, since she's not just asking for money. I don't even know what kind of lawyer, I would need to contact or do you just ignore a letter if nobody actually sues you?

This is what she wrote, and it makes no sense. "I plan to as a Court judge to settle these issues. I caannot live in fear any further. You will receive a Court order form my attorney shortly."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 4:42 PM
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Yes, this sounds like the kind of situation where until you get something about an actual court action, or at least a letter from a licensed attorney, you compost it all.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 4:45 PM
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Compost is great for trees.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 4:48 PM
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But yeah, she doesn't have an attorney.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 4:55 PM
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Next windy, moonless night, get a leafy branch and brush it past her window.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-23 5:25 PM
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There is an unsanctioned cave that people go in, and follow little spray-painted arrows, and come out 30 minutes later.

I am unreasonably amused that this reads as though heebie felt it necessary to reassure us all that people do actually come out of the cave again, in case we were thinking this was some kind of Pied Piper deal.

"She doesn't get eaten by the cave at this time. I'm explaining this to you because you look nervous."

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-16-23 3:35 AM
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I took it more as a warning that once you start, you're going to be in there for a long time.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-23 8:03 AM
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We got there and the woman at the counter informed us that our reservations were for March 22nd, not March 15th. I think I went white and broke down laughing hysterically. She said that since we clearly made reservations five weeks ago, she could change our reservations and let us in. Not entirely suprisingly, a scammy thing people try to do is try to book a reservation, see that the park is full, and then book for a week later in order to pretend they got the date wrong. But we seemed legit, partly because we were there so early. (Not quite sure why arriving early is a sign of legitimacy, but I'll take it.)

The height of the dome bothered me way more than it did 20 years ago. The main path is the kind of slope where you're not going to tumble more than a yard if you really lose your footing, but visually the dropoff is only 20-40 yards in front of you at any time, which then extends as you walk towards it. Seeing kids in front of a drop off makes me feel a little sick. And at the summit, the wind was whipping hard enough that hats and maps would periodically go whipping along the ground, and that also was very unsettling to me. So I was not that interested in finding and navigating the cave, although we did find the entrance.

Then we went down a bit and did a different hike with a bunch of scrambling over the rocks, which some children enjoy a lot and others don't, ate a picnic, had some iced treats, and then drove home.

Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 03-16-23 9:05 AM
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Park people are usually good people if you're not trying to be a problem.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-23 10:57 AM
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Supposedly when they arrived in the area in the 70's my dad actually pitched a tent on the top of the rock and spent the night there. It was predictably miserable.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-16-23 11:07 AM
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29: see 2.

I am not your father AFAIK. No tent, for one thing.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-16-23 9:17 PM
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