“Let me guess, you’re looking for the wedding,” says the guy through my opened car window.

“No, I’m just looking for Hanging Rock State Park.”

Seems there’s a bridge out on the road to Hanging Rock, a state park highly recommended by local hikers. The guy standing by the road has been redirecting folks all morning. They’re all going to a wedding. Except me.

Well, that’s what I thought anyway.

So I take the detour, find my way to the park, get myself parked and all my gear strapped on, and set out in search of the nearest point of interest, Upper Cascades Falls. I figure the light might be good first thing in the morning and what the heck, it’s only .3 mile from the parking lot.

Then I wander down this wide gravel road, round a bend and see a large gathering of folks dressed oddly office-casual for a state park on Labor Day weekend. Of course by now I’ve completely forgotten about the guy on the road and all the folks looking for the nuptials.

So I blunder right up to the rail, look down at what everybody else is looking down at, and the first thing I hear is a male voice down there saying “now, let us pray.” On one side, a woman clad in white. On the other, a guy clad in black. Nearby, a bearded guy with a guitar.

My rule is, when the man says pray, you pray. In my case, I pray that these good folks don’t toss me down the ravine for crashing their wedding. Last I knew the preacher, bride and groom were breaking bread and getting ready for a Communion. I sorta slinked away.

As I’m making my way back up the trail, two women in heels are picking their way down the gravel trail, asking me how much further to the waterfall. “Don’t worry, it’s just around the bend,” I reassure them. They’re wishing somebody had told them to wear hiking boots.

The waterfall was lovely, by the way.

(More on the hike at Two-Heel Drive, if you’re curious).