It doesn't get much easier or more touristy than the Quechee Gorge Trail in Vermont. But last year as my wife and I were hiking out of the gorge I still got a kick out of the woman walking down the trail in high heels, smoking a cigarette and drinking a Diet Pepsi.
When it comes to preparedness, I'll admit that when I first started backpacking and hiking in my late high school and college years that I was very ill-prepared. Cheap to no equipment and knowledge only from reading Backpacker and Outside magazines. It took a couple very close calls to wise up and even now, sometimes, I still feel like I could be better prepared and am always learning new things.
I've noticed that, (for some),even when people are unprepared and have to turn back, as one of the three couples we met did, they had a good sense of humor about it. It would have been unmannerly when they stopped to talk on their way back to chide them for being unprepared. The good thing is you can tell it won't hinder them from coming back better prepared for next time. They were good natured with a sense of humor, which we all need.
I remember a quote from one of the AMC book when I was younger, and it stated, "Mt. Washington (and by extension the Whites)tolerates most fools, but occasionally takes one without any mercy." That has always stuck with me.
We're kinda gettin' off topic talking about goofers we've met on the trail, but since the thread is leanin' in that direction... This is my worst goofer story. We had climbed Cannon and were on the way down High Cannon Trail. We ran into a man and woman in the standard blue jeans and t shirts. They had taken the tram to the summit. Their intention was to hike down to Lonesome Lake to go swimming. The first thing out of the hefty womans mouth was, of course, "Is it much further? I have bad knees and they're killing me." She was in sandals, he in sneakers. They were having some serious problems climbing over the rocks along the trail. For provisions they had a towel. "We've never hiked in the mountains before", was her next line. I wanted to say "Yeah, that's obvious." but refrained. They were about a mile down the trail from the summit. I was trying to convince them to turn around when there was a distant thunder peel, it started sprinkling and the guy was cursing that he left the roof down in his convertible. Having climbed down, they were not to sure they wanted to climb back up. I tried to tell them which trails to follow to get down, then back to their car at the base of the tram, but they just stared slack jawed at me. I don't know what they did from there. I don't know whatever happened to them. I never found their bleached bones on subsequent trips so I assume they must have made it out somehow. I hope nobody had to carry them.
Last edited by KD Talbot; 07-09-2007 at 09:44 PM.
Yea, I don't want the thread to get too far off topic either. I guess in the end we meet people of all different sorts on the trail, from the novice to the expert, from the confused to the knowledgeable, from the slow-and-steady to the fire-off-their-heels, and trail workers too, yet the way we view and treat one another out there-even if we are total strangers -starts in the head. It will say a lot about the person we are, and ultimately the mountains that we all feel are a part of us.