Barra's climb up the mountain and her almost fatal fall (chapter 3) was a true story. That happened to me.
Before my husband and I got married--in fact we'd only been dating a few months--we were out hiking. Our path took us to a cliff where ten feet below there was a ledge, and below the ledge, there was a fifty foot drop. Well, there was an orange rope, tied around the base of the tree, that led down to the led.
I had seen movies and such where people walk down walls or cliffs by holding a rope. Well, it doesn't work as easily as it seems. I grabbed the rope and went over the side.
And slid down down down the entire length of the rope.
Head first. Backwards.
You know that old saying, "Don't pet a strange dog because he might not be friendly." Well, I'd like to make a new saying. "Don't grab a strange rope because it might not have a knot on the end of it."
I was lucky. Blessed. My rope had a knot. It was quite a jarring effect when my hands hit the bottom, but I didn't care. I landed--somewhat safely--on the ledge. Otherwise, it would have been a wonderful fifty foot drop. Like Barra, the only ill side-effect I had was rope burn on my hands. And oh, being very shaken up.
And so much would have never happened. A wonderful marriage, three little girls, my book, and the fulfillment of my dreams.
And I'd like to add another new saying, "Don't show off to your date by jumping off cliffs."