Saturday, April 28, 2007

Meeting hikers on the trail

I usually enjoy meeting other hikers on trails. Most hikers are considerate, helpful, and friendly. Some are occasionally thoughtless or just irritating but even those hikers may be otherwise pleasant. When hiking in Yellowstone or Glacier Parks, I am especially glad to be informed of any bear activity. Other hikers have told me about animals they saw on the current trail, trail hazards, and particularly good views or neat things they've seen. Hikers have directed me when I was uncertain of the trail and told me about other nice trails in the area. While most encounters are brief and consist of the other party and I simply exchanging greetings, sometimes we talk for a few minutes or hike a bit together along the trail.

Because I usually hike alone I may enjoy talking with other hikers more than most but often groups of 2 or more initiate the conversation. I suspect most hikers like to share information and experiences. Obviously the desire to share is a large part of my motivation for blogging. I don't always want to stop and talk with hikers, some trails are crowded and I wouldn't make any progress if I stopped to talk and feel crowded. I tend to avoid trails I know are popular in summer because meeting someone is more enjoyable if I haven't seen another hiker recently. I also like being quiet (except in grizzly country) while hiking; I see more animals. I don't like constantly hearing others conversations. I also get tired of stepping off the trail repeatedly and being asked "how much farther?". However I do try to give accurate information even if I think they should have a decent map; I've been less prepared than I should be before also.

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