Windows and Doors

Mount Frissell trailhead

Connecticut

May 2014

Standing outside our car at trailhead, we see a group of hikers on the road, way up there.  Not part of that group, a nearby woman is opening the door of her Volvo.  She gives us the answer to a question no one asked.  “I left my car window open by mistake.”

She closes her window and asks, “Are you Bill?”

Lisa says, “No, I’m not Bill.”  Pointing to the pack of hikers, Lisa offers, “Maybe Bill is up there with that group.”

“Doesn’t matter.  I’m just doing my own thing.”

Her own thing?  We’re all parked at a trailhead.  Once you’ve exited your vehicle, there’s nothing to do here but hike.  I’m thinking that her own thing is the same thing as that group of hikers up there, also the same thing as Lisa and me.  Although perhaps, without Bill.

Reminds me of the time I took a group of beginner backpackers out on the trail.  Within a quarter of a mile, one of my hikers was struggling under the weight of her pack, a tear rolling down her cheek.  We stopped on the trail and I had her remove the backpack so I could check the contents for weight.  Back while trying to pay attention to all fifteen neophyte backpackers at trailhead, I missed this hiker secreting a few items into her pack.  A Russian novel (really, it was Tolstoy,) four apples (for a one-night trip,) a heavy frying pan and a few dozen Baby Ruth bars.

We were close enough to trailhead so that, after putting one of my co-leaders in charge, I walked her back to her car to put all this heavy crap away.  When we arrived back at trailhead, I noticed that I had left my own car door wide open.  I’m very appreciative of Tolstoy.

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