My husband and I love to visit Stone Mountain and walk on the trails there. The walk-up trail is very popular and there are signs that tell you to stay on the trail. This week, some teenagers ventured off the trail and had to be rescued. One of them is in critical condition. I hope that this young man will recover from his injuries. For anyone who wishes to visit Stone Mountain, let me just say to you that it is a beautiful spot, and it is called a "mountain" but it is, strictly speaking, a MONADNOCK and although there will be trees and grass and wildflowers growing upon it where soil has collected, it is really made of ROCK. Therefore, when you walk over the rock, water and even sand can make the rock very slippery. At the top of the walk-up trail, there is a fence and a few years ago, a man climbed over the fence and his body was found at the base of the mountain the following morning.
You might think that this could not happen to you, that you would be careful and would know when you might be in trouble. The problem with that kind of thinking is that our vision is not just based on our eyesight but our perception. In other words, you might be on the mountain, and walking on a slope just as you normally would and your eyes will tell you that what you are seeing is safe to walk upon...as the mountain becomes steeper, your eyes will begin to perceive the danger but by this time it is too late.
In England, my in-laws live near an area that is beautiful but also extremely dangerous. It is Beachy Head and there have been many deaths there, one slip off that chalky cliff and the sea is 531 feet below.
So, be careful when you are walking or hiking and stay on the trails! Pay attention to the signs that are posted! They truly are there for a reason.