Moro Rock

There are two Moro Rocks in California, the other one is in the ocean outside of San Luis Obispo and it’s got two ‘r’s. This one is right at the entrance of Sequoia National Park. It’s got to be the easiest, hand-rails and stair-stepped, stroll-out-to-the-edge hike you can make in California that will send your adrenaline pumping out your ears. This rock is scary. Those sheer edges that drop a thousand feet on both sides? Well they put a handrail on the path to keep you safe, and it looks safe, except my brain doesn’t agree. No siree. You could practically make it out on this in a wheelchair, and I’ve never been more terrified of heights in my life. 

But that’s not the only danger on Moro Rock. Remember this photograph?  This was taken on Moro Rock seconds before the guys were struck by lightning. I gather that these two survived, but someone elsewhere on Moro Rock was killed that day in this strike or another strike that happened around this time. Electricity is a weird thing. But if you’re out on a mountain and your hair starts doing that, it’s not a good idea to stand under a tree, just saying. 

Here’s an article on how to survive a lightning storm

Everyone’s seen a Van de Graaff generator where you put your hand on the ball and your hair stands on end as they crank the voltage up. I’ve seen a different electrical demonstration and I can’t put a name to the device that the guy was using. What stood out to me was this: he claimed he was running amperage through his body, not voltage. (yeah, the kill you dead kind - how?) He was wearing a metal belt buckle and a gold wedding ring, which he said would be fine because they were so close to his body, not sticking out, they wouldn’t arc. (like a microwave?) He was holding a pine two-by-four like a sword. He was just standing on the platform of this generator. When they switched the machine on, the two-by-four instantly burst into huge flames. Like BOOM! I gather the pointedness of the wood combined with the resistance combined with the current, etc, etc. This was indoors at the Phoenix Convention Center and lemme tell you, I was looking for exits and staring up at the ceiling thinking, what if it arcs to the girders? Woke me up from my lecture-induced somnolence, for sure. I have no idea what I witnessed. What did I see?  

Magic. Probably.