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HomeNL-2015-12 Safety Minute

Safety Minute: Cancelling a Trip
December 2015
Harmon Everett

One of the best defenses against danger, is to not put yourself or your trip participants in the path of danger in the first place. Nature can turn ugly and dangerous in a matter of hours, or minutes, and if you are in the wilderness, hours away from safety, it could become a disaster.
Pay attention to the weather reports. NOAA had visual photos of IKE before it hit, which showed how much danger it could cause.
You don’t want to see this coming across the valley at you.
Or this.
For just one example, in 2009, the MS 150 Bicycle trip was cancelled for the first time in its 25 year history, against the strong outcry from many of the participants. The Saturday portion that was cancelled included almost continual lightning, winds of 40 mph, gusting to 60 mph, and torrential rains for the entire day. The campground was flooded. The complaints about cancelling the Saturday ride stopped soon after breakfast, when the riders realized it had probably saved their lives.
There is an old saying that the safest place for a boat is in the harbor, but that isn’t what a boat is for, and I agree. A boat that is safely hanging in the garage is safe, but it isn’t adding any joy to our lives. It isn’t what a boat is for.

But sometimes, when necessary, consider cancelling a trip, as the best thing that can happen.

The author, Harmon Everett