By Lupita Peimbert.
(Outdoors). The fear-infused old saying You Never Talk To Strangers and its subsequent phrases which sum up to Never With Strangers has been debunked. In a time and place where more people are active and pursue their hobbies, others are not strangers anymore, especially when strangers become friends through sharing experiences and interests; especially when the internet and the true sharing economy encourage connection even if it is just for one time.
And so, Always hike with strangers, here is why:
- When you go on a hike through meetup.com or a Facebook Group (just to name a few of the groups available) the organizer has taken the time to know the area, plan the hike, duration and intensity, and inviting people who are part of that group, so that before registering you know it is going to be safe, fun, and to your fitness level.
- People gather with a focus in mind: go hiking. Some people talk more, others talk less, but everybody generally has a friendly attitude and the joy that comes from being out in nature and doing something one enjoys.
- You’ll find out that sharing a hiking trip connects you with people who may have different points of view in life, from politics to religion and more. Out in the trail, all of you are connected because you love the forest, the lakes, the mountains, the desert, and the valley and the rest becomes less important at the moment.
- Similarly, you may find out that you have lots of things in common with people you meet while hiking and so new friendships start –and that is beautiful!
…and here is how you do it:
- Join one of the online groups above mentioned, and for that, you need to set a profile. No worries about privacy –the government, the bad guys, and the extraterrestrial can find us if they want to, via the Internet or not. There is no privacy in the Information Age. Good people can find us too, by the way.
- Register for an “outing,” and follow through. Make sure you understand details such as where to meet, what time, what to wear and what to bring. Be on time. Bring extra snacks or water to share.
- If you are carpooling ask the driver if you need to pitch in or just offer it.
- Come with an open-mind, be friendly and respectful of others. Do not bring politics, religion, or other volatile subjects. Keep all things kind and respectful in a relaxed way.
By the way, I recently went on a hiking trip to the Waterfalls of Whiskeytown in Shasta County California with Norcal Wild –a meetup about exploring, hiking and backpacking, and it was a very nice experience; it again made me appreciate the benefits of going hiking in a group and it prompted me to write this article. If you enjoyed reading this article, please take a minute to share it. ;-)!
How to get there:
The Waterfalls Whiskeytown is part of the National Park Service.
Directions: From Interstate 5, take the Highway 44 West exit toward Downtown Redding and Eureka. From Downtown Redding, follow Highway 299 west toward Eureka for approximately 8 miles to reach the Visitor Center. Plane Commercial air service is available to Redding California located approximately 16 miles from Whiskeytown. Rental vehicles are available.
Seven Day Entrance Pass – $10.00
This pass gives access to the park for one vehicle. It is valid for seven days and can be applied towards an Annual pass until two weeks after purchase.
Whiskeytown Annual Pass – $40.00
This pass is good for one year after purchase, it covers one vehicle and is valid at Lassen National Park.
For more information, you may go to Whiskeytown https://home.nps.gov/whis/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm
About the writer:
Lupita is a hiker who appreciates both, hiking solo and as part of a group. She also is a bilingual writer and media professional who appreciates the beauty in Shasta County and surrounding areas.