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Bernie Boettcher Friday, 18 November 2011 11:04 TWEET COMMENTS 0

The Runnability Scale

Can that be run or—ow!

Three buzzards sailed down for a closer look. "I'm not dead yet," I yelled, gesturing a crusty middle finger. ...

Illustration by Kevin Howdeshell

Three buzzards sailed down for a closer look. "I'm not dead yet," I yelled, gesturing a crusty middle finger.

My knees were still bleeding, but my knuckles had dried. I tore off a piece of napkin, stuck it to a knee wound, and impassively watched it turn red as I pulled out my dinner. Sardines again.

I should've nailed the drop onto that hoodoo. The seven-foot flight was too much for a one-legged running landing, and I collapsed headfirst over the edge, completely missing the next hoodoo. I fell five feet onto hard dirt for a close-up view of Goblin Valley, Utah. Again.

The trot back to the car gave me time to assess the runnability factor of what I had just tried. On a scale of one to 10, I gave it a three. I could've run it on a better day.

The experience of running across the tops of hoodoos seven to 10 feet high still ranked a 10 in my thoughts, right up there with running across stone arches and cliff ledges. But finding the right combination of rocks proved to be more difficult than finding arches and ledges that worked. Miscalculations could result in brain surgery or, worse, not being able to run.



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