Friday, October 26, 2007

Utah hiking - things that seemed a bit odd

I had a good vacation in Utah and did a lot of hiking, had good weather, and enjoyed myself a lot. I will write about some hikes later but for now wanted to mention some things which seemed a bit unusual to me.

On the Widforss trail along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, I saw 2 women pushing/hauling a baby stroller. The trail prohibited bicycles but didn't say hikers only so they may have felt it was okay. The trail was not very good for pushing a wheeled vehicle and they had had to lift it over logs at least 2 times before that. Baby seemed rather fussy about the whole procedure, unlike backpack babies which were all dozing.

I twice saw people take dogs on trails where they were specifically prohibited in National Parks. Both times the dogs were well behaved but still should not have been there. Once a large golden retriever on a leash, the other 2 small dogs carried papoose style in packs. I understand the frustration of having a well behaved dog and not being able to hike because the dog can't be left behind but still the owners should have found alternatives.

I saw lots of IMO less then optimal footwear for rocks and drop offs including thongs and high-heeled, slick soled sandals and cowboy boots. The most unusual however was a women wearing mukluks made of artificial materials on a trail when the weather was tee-shirt warm. She was doing okay but I would think it was very warm in the mukluks.

Lots of people hiking, in some cases for a few miles, in warm weather with only a 12 ounce bottle of water apiece. All the Visitor centers, trail guides, etc. stressed taking lots of water. I would guess these people came without any personal water containers and just bought a single bottle each. I would hate to see the same thing in hot weather.

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