“Howdy,” I said to a fellow hiker trying to be friendly, scooting as far away from him as possible on the mountain path. Six feet, please, or more, even in the fresh air.
So the howdy thing came to me after my experience with a 3-foot snake on our first hike yesterday near Hamilton, Montana (a cool small town where likely there’s been zero Covid cases, yet people everywhere are wearing masks). We’d parked the rented Outback and the view of an old barn, mountains, and tall grasses was so serene I decided to sit down on a rock to capture a photo before beginning our hike.
After I took the shot I saw it, wrapped at the base of the big rock, near my feet. World record came next for #fastestButtjump and I ran to Mark and brought him back to the spot. No snake. He hissed more or less like the one who’d slithered away. “Silly woman” I think went through his mind – then off we went to brave snakes and insects, maybe bears.
Onward to the Calf Creek Trail. I said howdy in a Goober sort of way to a few folks we passed and each time he’d look at me and smile, but I knew he thought I was weird, maybe thought about running far ahead yet didn’t. It’s the little things in life.
We got far off the trail, realizing a few miles in by looking at my phone trail app (luckily still getting service) that we were no where near the one we thought we were on … suspicious because the incline was much greater than advertised. Still – we trekked through tall trees, inhaling the delicious scent of pines, and then flipped back rather than forging aimlessly on.
We weren’t keen on potentially spending the cold night under clumps of small trees and makeshift pine-needle blankets.
Used our noodles, I’d say.
Hiking is a great escape from Covid until you meet fellow wanderers, then you jump away, just in case, but in Montana people are few and far between. Which is what we wanted for our vacation. The ultimate getaway to a cabin by the Bitterroot River so private we could walk around in the buff, and where hiking trails with waterfalls, uphill climbs and pristine lakes will challenge our aging bodies … so we can eat pizza.