In mid-July, 30-year-old Lindsay Burgess from Missouri survived a fall into the rapids below Niagara Falls and had to be rescued by a jet boat. She had climbed over the barricade and ignored signs warning of danger on the slippery rocks, because she wanted to "touch beauty." Most of the news reports talk about the miracle of her survival but neglect to point out that she risked her life by walking on slippery rocks right next to the some of the wildest whirlpools in the world. Reckless and ridiculous.
Also in mid-July, 44-year-old David Potts from San Francisco fell into a blowhole in Hawaii and was sucked into the ocean, because he had to position his body between the blowhole and the ocean. I remember visiting a similar Hawaiian blowhole, where a tourist ignored the prominent signage and was cavorting around flirting with danger.
Yosemite National Park is experiencing a record number of deaths this year, with Haley LaFlamme, 26, recently falling to her death while rock climbing on a rain-soaked Half Dome. LaFlamme and several others ignored signs that warned against climbing during wet weather.
|Yosemite's Vernal Fall|
I'm always shocked to see people climb over guardrails to get as close as they can to wild nature. In fact, it boggles my mind to see the way people take on great personal risks in the pursuit of adventure. Mountain and rock climbing, skydiving, bungee jumping...life is too precious to squander it for the pursuit of a moment of excitement.