Collecting in Dangerous Areas

Common sense teaches that no specimen is worth endangering life or risking serious injury. It is especially important to remember this when collecting in a quarry, where the rock is shattered and may overhang the face. This is the place to wear a hard hat. If pebbles are falling from the overhang, think twice before risking the chance that larger rocks may fall, too. Particular care must be taken in the spring, when frost may be holding the rocks together. A warm sun will soon melt the ice and may release tons of rock. Even a hard hat will not help then.

Open mine shafts, passages to mines, and deep prospect holes can be deadly. They may harbor dangerous animals; snakes retreat from the heat of the sun into the coolness of such places. Falling rocks and rotting ladders make shafts unsafe, and old drifts present the perils of falling roof rocks, hidden pits, and treacherous floor timbers, besides the ever-present possibility of deadly gases.

Collectors have been drowned in the bone-dry desert by flash floods that fill draws and canyons to the brim within minutes. It is advisable to avoid camping in such places.

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