Saturday, May 1, 2010

Corralitas Public Staircase: Dangerous In So Many Ways

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 29, 2010. Deadly Nightshade grows along the Pits of Doom. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The threat of injury and death come in so many ways on the Corralitas Public Staircase. The Corralitas Pits of Doom are the most immediate threat, particularly since this winter's rains further eroded the earth holding up the public staircase. With no railing on most of the public staircase, there's nothing to keep you from falling into the Pits of Doom. (See all Pits of Doom posts.)

If hunger strikes while your climbing the stairs, do not snack on the berries you see growing on the leafy green plants. That pretty plant with the tiny white flowers and green (ripening to black) berries, is Nightshade, a highly toxic native plant (see photo above). Castor Beans are non-native, highly toxic, can not only kill you, they can break up the staircase, creating trip & fall injuries and lawsuits.

Then there's those pesky giant Alligator Lizards, who can deliver a bacteria laden bite if provoked. Finally, if you make it past all those dangers, there's always a risk of heart attack or heatstroke from climbing those 133 steps in 6 flights in the hot sun.

However, if you're a regular staircase hiker, you might want to join the Big Parade, the free 2-day staircase marathon of fun, June 12 &13, 2010. You can join for a few staircases, hours or both days. For more info and training hikes see: It's a great way to explore the neighborhoods of the Eastside.