KNOW BE­FORE YOU GO

Horse & Rider - - Conformation Clinic -

As you ride the redwoods and nearby beaches, be alert for area haz­ards. High wind. Avoid old-growth forests dur­ing high winds; wind­storms can blow down trees. Heavy branches can also fall from hun­dreds of feet above ground at high speed. Lo­cally, these haz­ardous branches are known as widow-mak­ers. Poi­son oak. Poi­son oak is na­tive to most ar­eas in Cal­i­for­nia. All parts of the plant are toxic to those sen­si­tive to its urush­iol oil, which can cause an itchy rash. Ticks. Un­for­tu­nately, ticks car­ry­ing Lyme dis­ease are now found in this re­gion. Af­ter rid­ing, check your cloth­ing and body. For sev­eral days af­ter rid­ing, check your horse’s body un­der his jaw and neck and es­pe­cially in his groin area. High surf. You can ride on the beach at Tolowa Dunes State Park. Check for storm and high-surf ad­vi­sories, and be aware of high tide. Don’t be caught be­hind rocky points at high tide with no way out. Tide charts are avail­able at all vis­i­tor cen­ters. This area also has large sneaker waves that might strike un­ex­pect­edly. Tsunamis. Cres­cent City is the tsunami cap­i­tal of the con­ti­nen­tal United States. Since 1933, 31 earth­quake-caused tsunamis have hit the area. The pri­mary cause is the Men­do­cino Frac­ture Zone com­bined with the area’s to­pog­ra­phy. In 2011, the 8.9 mag­ni­tude earth­quake in Ja­pan dev­as­tated Cres­cent City’s har­bor. If you feel an earth­quake or see the ocean re­cede sud­denly, move in­land to higher ground.

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