Let me just start with hiking lesson #21…if the hike you are thinking about doing is described as one of the most popular in Washington and cheerfully warns to “expect company and enjoy the camaraderie”, you may not want to pick the last Saturday of the summer to do it. And especially don’t take anyone who hates crowds. (like my husband…I thought Disney World was going to kill him)
|Ken's arm is just long enough to get the sign in|
|Issac was kind enough to pull up the rear with me|
But how can you not want to sneak a hike in on the last weekend of the summer, especially when it’s a perfectly glorious 70ish day? Ken couldn’t resist, even with all the work he knew he should be doing. Our friends were also looking for any excuse to be out in the sun. I called them LAST minute (leaving in an hour) just to ask if they knew how long it would take to get to Pilchuck. I didn’t think there was any chance they could swing going on such short notice, but as soon as Melissa asked, “Hey Rick, how far is it to Mount Pilchuck?”, I heard him answer, “Can I come?”
I was thrilled to have a group to go with me—the more the merrier, right? Well…I have to say that expression has a saturation point. It’s merry until you drive into the parking lot and see at least 50 other cars. Apparently half the state of Washington was also looking for an excuse to leave their chores behind.When we finally got to the lookout tower, it reminded me of a bee hive. Ken was definitely not "enjoying the camaraderie"...I'm glad I couldn't read his mind, even though I know what he was thinking. But the fact is, regardless of how annoyed we are at the masses, we have to realise we are part of the masses. When I pointed out this bit of zen wisdom to Rick, he jokingly responded, "Yeah...but don't they know who we are?" And though he was kidding, that is sort of the heart of the problem, isn't it?--Deep inside thinking we are better than others. I know that's an attitude I always have to keep in check.
Melissa and Ken (the long legs, as me and Rick would call them) would get way ahead, only to be stalled by another group of slow pokes. Melissa finally asked, "Can't we just scramble up another way?", to which me and Rick (Rick and I? English is a stupid language ;)) quickly scolded, "Now, what would happen if everyone did that?" Not 10 minutes later, both Rick and I (is that better?) took a little side path around some people (trying to catch up to the long legs, of course) and got chewed out by another hiker. (well, I got chewed out--Rick conveniently disappeared) It really sucks getting busted for something you just told someone else not to do...but that's what you get for not following your own rules. (remember lesson #5, "no matter how tempting, stay on the trail"?...oops)
|I cut Melissa out of the picture because she had "chewing face"--sorry Mel|
|It does not look like they are on the trail! Naughty, naughty!|
|Rick always wanted his own throne|
|Is this staying on the trail?|
|Monkey see, monkey do|
And so, if you decide to visit the "Social Mountain", (as the WTA describes it) be sure to have your 'zen' on, remember we are all created equal, and get your butt in line.