Situation: When we step on a rock we always believe it is a stationary rock. We have learned the hard way that all rocks are not stationary. They move, causing a fall or near fall of an 8+ (on a scale of 1 to 10) plus rating. (This compares to falls that normally rate in the 7's as a result of expanding rocks or logs.) These falls, or stumbles, are normally forward ones. Rolling rocks can, on occasion, result in backward-type falls, with lots of arm waving and a lot more humor -- for the observer, not the faller. If we'd had more time, we'd done more research on this theory, but we hope the more scientific of you will provide the proof.
Key facts and observations.
For this "stationary rock" to become a rolling rock four criteria must exist and/or take place:
A. Gravity--i.e. Slope of the ground.
B. How big is the rock?
C. Looseness of the rock.
(Lots of complexity here between a-b-c. This discussion took over two miles of down hiking to develop and has been refined somewhat telling and other long hikes out).
D. Motion--energy of the moving foot and angle of the foot.
What all this means -- we're not sure, but we strongly believe its not our fault when we fall or stumble. Its tied to the rolling rock theory.
Theory: Rolling Rock
A rock that appears strongly anchored in the ground may not be, given the above, and may move under one's foot, not always with desirable or positive results.
Extension--Final Resting Place of the rock. We could not just leave well enough alone.
Once after a major near miss on a rolling rock -- a low 8 rating stumble -- we got to wondering about the final resting place of the rock. (Iíll bet this has troubled you too.) It was a long hike out that day and we could not smell the beer yet.
Facts and observations: For a rolling rock to once again become a "stationary rock", five things will have an affect:
A. Force of impact of foot to rock.
B. Size of the rock.
C. Slope of ground.
D. Distance initially travels in the air.
E. Roughness of terrain.
A stationary rock that has once been a rolling rock has a greater potential to become a rolling rock than a stationary rock that has not.
Yes, we know this is weak, but it had been a very long day and Doug did smell the beer (another theory)...