The three of us have parked the car on the outskirts of the park, slung our gear over our shoulders and are hiking in to the park. It’s a strange sight: the parking lot is like the kind you would find at a mall — dark black asphalt, brightly painted white lines to indicate the spaces, twenty-foot-tall lamp posts — but the parking lot is in the midst of some of the densest deciduous forest. Our destination is a tall column of rock that bulges up from the treetops; we are going to climb that son of a bitch. As we pick our way through the forest though, we come upon a massive visitor center. The visitor center has an ultra-modern architecture; round and dome-like, it falls somewhere between NYC’s Guggenheim and Vader’s Death Star. Uniformed people stalk everywhere (arm in arm) and a small cadre of snipers is perched on top of the visitor center. We joke that we must be invading something. The uniforms are all different colors; most of them are grey with black piping and gold accents but some are navy blue, others are teal, others still are pale green. There are not many civilian outfits but those that we do see are all dressed in formal wear. We overhear snatches of conversation about “the Norwich wedding” and the patrols that have been set up to keep the climbers out. We take a gamble and sashay into the visitor center, the idea in our heads that we can convince the DJ or the pastor or some other authority of the wedding that we are part of the patrol brigade. We’ll still get to the top of that rock column.