Tuesday, July 26, 2011
No Jake today, I'm on my own. The stickers and foxtails are too thick for him to hike at our favorite wilderness park so he's at a play date instead.
Today I ran into a total of two people, both as I was returning along a trail on the far side of the park. As long as I arrive after 8 a.m., I never worry. Even before 8, the only thing I really need to worry about is running into a mountain lion and that's mostly in the winter months. But that's also why I want the dog with me.
It never fails to amaze me how many women I run into who are hiking or running alone, wearing a hat pulled low over their eyes, dark glasses and ear buds in their ears. They're looking down at their feet instead of ahead at the trail. Here they are, in this isolated, beautiful, wild place, filled with birdsong and the occasional hazard, but they aren't attending to their surroundings
Why does this bother me so much? Because you have to pay attention. Not only do you run into the occasional creepy guy...yes, it does happen...even though you don't see a mountain lion, that doesn't mean they aren't there. Not to mention the fact that the trail is easily eroded in the dry summer months and you can make a misstep and turn an ankle.
I just think it's so weird that it's always women and we are the ones who really need to pay attention. The only thing decoration I might see on a guy is a baseball cap.
Besides, when you're listening to music and looking at your feet, you miss the most fantastic sights! A golden eagle perched in an oak next to the trail. A flock of wild turkeys. Song birds of all types. The gray fox that has a den near the fallen bay laurel. The twin bucks always seem to be bedded down on the hillside overlooking the meadow.
When I'm driving my car, I'll put on a CD and blast out some rock and roll, but when I'm hiking I guess I'm just plain old hiking.