TCI Friday

Believe it or not, Darrell Waltrip bestowed upon me the most insightful tidbit I ever heard from a sportscaster when he remarked about a rookie one Sunday afternoon with NASCAR drivers whizzing around Talladega, “He don’t know what he don’t know.”

I used to think I knew a lot about a lot, but Darrell had me pegged.

Take, for instance, mountain biking in bear territory.

I used to see boulders haphazardly knocked to the middle of the trail and think: Who would do that?

Only recently have I come to understand it’s not a who, but a what.

That what would be a bear, flicking over 30-pound rocks in search of grubs.

Yet, even though I now know what I know, I continue on deciding I’ll only get nervous when I see the uncovered ground still moist.

Yep, it’s all about moisture, baby. Same for scat. Dried up scat? No worries. Onward!

Both of these observations came riding the Twisp River Trail in Washington.

Yeah, the same trail on which I heard a beefy “WOOT WOOT WOOT” a year ago.

Back then I didn’t know what I didn’t know until the next morning when I saw a Grizzly 100 yards away puffing his massive brown cheeks as he delivered that distinctive sound.

So, yes, past too many flipped boulders to count and one dried up pile of scat my Golden Lab Summer and I forged on until …

Moisture, Spoisure! When I see a pile of bear scat the size of a Thanksgiving Turkey plopped down in the middle of the trail, that’s it! Ride over! About face!

I guess size DOES matter! Which, of course, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

This week’s question: Dead or alive, what would make you turn back?

An addendum to what I don’t know: Did you know that bear spray has an expiration date? Mine is 2 years past. I guess that gives it the pressure of, well, a breath spray. Some day some bear is gonna think, aw, this was just too easy …

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