My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hiking on Vacation

I love hiking and over the last several years I’ve done some hikes that I’m very proud to have completed (I’m even proud of a couple that I couldn’t finish). There is just something about heading out into nature with nothing but a day pack and a well worn pair of shoes that is thoroughly invigorating. What I don’t care for, more than anything else, is some of the other hikers.

Barring serious weather conditions or an actual emergency, when I am in the middle of a hike I do not want to stop and talk to people I pass, I never want to compare gear and I am not looking to add people to my party mid-hike. Just a nod or a “hello” as we pass is just fine. You know what, if you can fit in a sentence, “the bridge is out,” “rock slide ahead,” “lovely weather today,” without breaking stride – that’s just fine. But please, please, please don’t expect me to stop and tell you about my socks or hold me up with prolonged weatherspeak. I just don’t care.

The reason that I now feel compelled to write about this is because this last week Kela and I did some wonderful day hikes while carrying Sebastian. I did not know this beforehand, but there is something about carrying a kid around with you that people interpret as, “Hey, we could use a break. Ask us a stupid question.” While I did my best to ignore most of these people, Kela felt compelled to be polite and talk to them. Doing my best to ignore her and her new friend, I usually just kept moving and forced her to offer a hasty, “Sorry, my husband really doesn’t like to stop” before jogging to catch up. As you can imagine, I’m still making amends for my bad manners. In doing so, I would like to answer all of your questions, in the exact same fashion that I would have on the trail, so to prove to my wife that it was better that I just kept moving:

1. Thank you, we think he’s cute to. Now please get out of my way.
2. He weighs 25 pounds and we trade him off as much as we can.
3. Yes we own one of those baby-backpacks, but didn’t bring it with us to California.
4. You wore flip-flops to do a 5 mile hike that rises 1800 feet and you want to talk gear? Seriously?
5. You are very clever, you are the first person to joke about making him walk.
6. He’s one year old and I’m not wasting his time on someone as uninteresting as you.
7. There are directions every quarter mile and this is the middle of a three mile trail, if you don’t know where you are now, I’m not going to tell you.
8. No, I don’t know where on the trail you can get cell phone reception.

I hope that answers any and all of your questions.

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