This is Beacon Rock.
This is the Beacon Rock Trail.
And this is a tale of a young couple of people old enough to know better and too much in love to think properly. We were engaged. Our wedding was a mere twelve days away. It was the Fourth of July, and there are fireworks to be seen on the Fourth of July. We were finding every possible scrap of time alone we could find, and we were young and fit and eager to do something active. And so, we thought, we would just climb Beacon Rock before dark, and then there we'd sit. On top of Beacon Rock. Watching far away fireworks in all directions. Perfect.
If you hike in the light so that you can be in position to watch something in the dark, it is perhaps a bit of wisdom to take with you some sort of hand-held illumination device. After the darkness settles in and after the fireworks you might be have been able to see from your vantage point -- high up that absurd "path" -- in the dark -- you might want to come back down the rock.
And this did not occur to us until it was nearly completely dark.
A shadow, so to speak, of things to come.
On that day, twenty-five years ago, when we realized it was getting hard to see what we were sitting on, and then realized that it was very soon going to be very hard to see anything at all (including that path!), we set off in a laughing hurry to get back to the ground before we would have to risk our lives at it.
I think I can assert that we rarely have to learn the same thing twice. We'd take a flashlight nowadays. We'd probably even check to see whether it had working batteries in it! But ... it's true ... I'll admit it. That old order of events is one we have repeated from time to time.
One of us: "Hey, here's a good idea."
The other one: "Yeah! Okay. Let's go."
One of us: "Uh ... I think we miscalculated here."
The other one (somewhat dryly): "Apparently. Let's go."
And after all this time, we both still think it's funny.