Big Hiking Chicken

Lately, I’ve been doing a few solo-hikes. Not my favorite but, desperate times call for desperate measures. The leaves are gone and it’s cold as a witch’s teat (whatever that means). So it’s hard to get ordinary people to join me on a hike this time of year.

Hiking alone is a great time to reflect on things. You’re in the company of your own thoughts and you don’t have to worry about anyone else other than yourself. But I have to admit – I’m a big hiking chicken.

I start the hike with a big smile on my face and marvel at all the trees like I’ve never seen trees before. Yay, so fun!

Later on I start seeing shit. Was that a bear? Is that some weirdo hiding behind a tree? At that point, if I hear an unfamiliar sound I’m up a tree faster than a jungle cat. Of course, the scary sound is almost always a squirrel or chipmunk running away. I know this type of behavior is bizarre, but can you blame me?

Every time you turn on the TV there’s an episode of dateline about some yahoo who is attacking unsuspecting hikers. There are also those who went to hike the Appalachian Trail, but never made it back. Bear attacks are rare, but they have been on the rise lately.

All that considered I still can’t stay away from the trail. There is always some degree of risk involved when you venture out into the wild. It’s very important to be aware of those risks. But, in most situations your biggest risk is injury due to a fall. If you get attacked by a bear (or a weirdo) – its just not your day.

So maybe it’s time I got use to the solo-hikes and enjoy the solitude. Yes! Right after I buy a taser.

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