Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Too Much Information-A Trail Story

I'd been hiking alone for awhile when I met some older gentlemen crossing a field up in New Jersey.
Contrary to what you'd think, the Appalachian Trail is not always crowded. Depends on how much rain there is and how close to roads.
It's nice to meet humans once in awhile, chat, share news.
Sometimes, though, if you've been alone awhile, you end up sharing a little too much information.
These guys wondered where I was going, how long I'd been on the trail and offered a bunch of unsolicited day-hiker type advice. Deferring to their age, feeling no threats, I assured them I would make it to Katahdin, later this summer, having hiked a good 1400 miles already.
They asked me how far I planned on heading this evening. I mentioned the next shelter's name as a possible campsite.
We said our goodbyes, I hiked on. After a couple miles, I crossed paths with another guy hiker. He knew all about me, and repeated several things I'd told the old guys. He had met them crossing the road.
Lesson learned, too much information.
Even if it seems harmless chit chat, my safety could have been jeopardized by my sharing so much with people I'd dismissed as harmless. In their continued sharing of my information with others, the wrong person could have been my camp mate.
I believe in a power I call Trailgods. They taught me a vital lesson that day.

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