The other day I strolled into a campsite with Leo to take a break and eat before we moved on. The girl who had camped next to me the night before said, in the kind of tone you reserve for a toddler who has successfully pooped in the potty for the first time, “oooooooh you made it here. Wow. Good for you. I didn’t think you’d make it this far.”
“Well we’re taking a break and the going on. Are you camping here?”
“Yep. Sat down for a break and never got back up so I thought I’d camp here. You’ll probably do the same.”
I poured out kibble for Leo and started making my pasta side. While waiting for the water to boil I looked over my trail guide book, and tried to make small talk with her.
“Woof. Tomorrow looks like it’ll be rough too.”
She looked off in the distance and responded, “no tomorrow should be pretty easy.”
“Oh, hmmmm. I mean this Blood Mountain says it’s the highest mountain in Georgia on the Appalachian Trail. That looks pretty rough to me.”
“You’ll just go to the summit tomorrow. You’ll climb Blood Mountain the next morning.”
I leaned over to Leo and whispered to him, “if we do anything tomorrow it’s going to be taking our asses over Blood Mountain.”
Coyly turning back to her I giggled and said, “oh. Okay. Thanks for letting me know. I didn’t know we couldn’t do Blood Mountain tomorrow.”
We did Blood Mountain the next day. And when I tell hikers coming through that story they know exactly who I am talking about even though none of us know her name.
I’m about two days hike ahead of her now.