We were riding the loop from the Matthews-Winters Park lot, along the Dakota Ridge Trail on top of the Hogback, and back around through Matthews-Winters Park, on the Red Rocks Trail, to return to the parking lot. At the point where we had climbed the steep pitch up the rock face on the Red Rocks Trail, we pulled over to the right to take a break.
We walked over to the edge of the rock face, which overlooks the trail up which we had just ridden. I stumbled over a rock, and Tony said, "Watch out! You're pretty close to the edge!"
I sat down on the rock, with my legs dangling over the edge, wondering just how bad a fall it would be if you slipped off. It looked like a pretty bad landing zone, from where I was sitting, but you never know...so I figured Tony was just being a Nervous Nellie.
Later that month, I was watching the news when a story came on which detailed a tragic death, earlier that day. A girl had been hiking on the Red Rocks Trail, and had fallen to her death. The news clip showed the scene of the tragedy...right where I had sat and wondered if you could survive a fall from there.
Every now and then, something drives home the fact that there is a reason that what I do for fun elicits a pretty strong adrenaline reaction. It is actually dangerous, and I find myself needing to stop and take stock, at times.