Archive for the 'Safety' Category


take care…

me-salmon river-SwittersB-Oregon

As some of you know, SwittersB & Exploring use to be SwittersB & Fly Fishing. I switched names because my interests had expanded into a broader arena, photography wise. That said, in the past, I frequently reminded readers to stay fit for safety reasons. I am ever more convinced of the need for maintaining strength and flexibility, particularly in the lower extremities if one is out hopping about on uneven terrain (see those shoreline rocks behind me).

I have taken several bad falls the last few years along rivers and trails, which ultimately required a complex surgery on my ankle this Spring (further I have damaged the back, wrists and elbows). The rehabilitative process is ongoing and not like it was even ten years ago.

Please maintain your foot, leg, hip, core strength especially if you are out moving about on uneven surfaces. Once older, the restorative consequences are sobering. Stay stronger, be safe!!!



“The various reasons we have just enumerated lead us to believe that the new radioactive substance contains a new element to which we propose to give the name of RADIUM.” Marie Curie, December 26, 1898



a door way..

you see an alleyway 

the doorway just out of view

aggression oppressed



Ill wind blows…

“It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.” Thomas Tasser, 1580

Ill wind-SwittersB


Between two rocks & a hard place…

girl-rock climbing-Joshua Tree-SwittersB

At this point, this young woman was about 20′ above the ground. She continued up another 30′ or so up this vertical shaft, of sorts. Her father scurried up the wall, as if nothing, and continued on much higher. I have trouble negotiating a step ladder, So, I admire free climbing.

This week, a young man fell 150′ to his death at Rocky Butte near my home. Every few years, a climber dies on the North side of Rocky Butte.


Here Portland Fire & Rescue prepare to rescue a climber stranded on the side of Rocky Butte in the dark. Also, they are always tasked with recovering the bodies of fallen climbers, who might be wedged in the rocks above the lowest point below.



Chasing Cactus Blooms & Safety

Early April is often a good time to find the beautiful cactus blooms in the Joshua Tree National Park in California. For my wife and I, part of the enjoyment is that you can’t just drive along and see the cactus or blooms. You have to get out of the car and exert some effort and in the process you, of course, slow down and study the terrain. Your pace slows down. I can’t say the mind slows down because the unique desert world is highly stimulating. 

Every plant, the spacing of plants, the rock formations, the trees and cactus are highly contrasted to our home turf of the Pacific NW (Western Oregon). Finding the cactus and possibly finding them in bloom is part of the enjoyment. The colors, the varieties, and their locations are so rewarding. In the process, you feel the altitude, the wind, the sun and fresh air. You shake off the Winter doldrums.

Beavertail cactus-rocks-Barker Dam hike-SwittersB

cactu-prickly pear-desert-SwittersB-joshua tree
mound cactus-Mojave-flowers-SwittersB-desert
desert-beavertail cactus-bloom-flower-wildflower-Swittersb
Mojave Mound Cactus-Joshua Tree NP-Barker Dam Trail-SwittersB
It seems obligatory when discussing an outing into the desert to mention water, planning, route selection etc. Like in any outdoor adventure you truly must plan to some degree for safety and what if’s. Cell phone coverage inside the park was very spotty. So, be aware depending upon your age and fitness that you can slip, trip and fall. You can while focused on snapping images place yourself in harm’s way atop a rock, or moving too close to an edge.

What I notice ever more is, dare I say it, one’s age and degree of fitness plays in here. My mind thinks I’m much younger. But, as I move about the terrain I notice the lessened spring in the step…unsteadiness in the hips….misjudging the strength to hop from here to there. So, if you never did embark upon that New Year’s resolution to work out, or you have a physical limitation or two, be careful.

Although a ‘park’ it is the desert and all that entails. Don’t drive down roads or terrain your rental car was not designed to take on (I did this near Salvation Mountain and promptly got momentarily stuck with no one around). If you are doing a drive through the park with a few side hikes and short jaunts into the desert terrain you should be safe planning wise….but still watch your steps and slow down. Definitely have a map or two!


never doubt they lurk…

sick, deadly and evil

like a toxic gas that killed

forever tainted

Bundy-wanted poster-images-murder-history-SwittersB


Tacoma Narrows Bridge on Calm Day

Narrows Bridge-Washington-TC Muncy-bridge-SwittersB

A somewhat comical newsreel commentary/video from 1940 of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse…a puppy was left in the car. Galloping Gertie history.


Prepare & Do It

in some way do it

step forward into the wild

just once in your life

SwittersB, Mojave Desert

Oh, I guess I would be derelict in my provocations if I didn’t say the old Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. Leave word where you will venture to…stay to your plan…have supplies for over night (at least) in a pack or nearby car (or both)…wear the appropriate gear (no flip flops in the desert or hiking)…slow down and really study…listen…feel…be quiet and escape negativity…smile…check back in that you are out safe and sound. Plan the next one!

Smash Mouth Truth

I try to stay away from the political commentary. We as a group of bloggers tend to be quite supportive, positive, dancing around the edges of harsh realities. But you know what…this type of courage to speak the truth and take the heat is refreshing right now given the plethora of manipulative, lying bastards holding positions of trust right now. If you don’t fathom what the Chief is talking about or mentally throw back a ‘yeah but’ you are clueless and/or dishonest with yourself. 

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

July 2020

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