Thursday, August 25, 2011

Montana Freehiking Encounter & Lesson

I've also learned this same lesson about not over-reacting when encountering others while freehiking. How about you?


“We strapped on our water-packs and headlamps for a night hike. The moon was rising bright as we walked down the road chatting. We hadn’t gotten too far when we realized there was a silver truck behind us about 200 feet on the sharp turn of the road. We scattered like naked chickens looking for cover with no good hiding place. The woman passed with her hand to the side of her face to block the view this naked man who inadvertently was moving in her direction. After the disruption of our peaceful walk, the conversation turned to the appearance of the truck. We decide that we should have just moved the road a bit and waited for them to pass. The run and hide act was a clear statement of being in the wrong. . . By the time we reached the valley meadow it was night. . . We lost the trail so we turned back hiking up the somewhat steep mountain slope. Never once turning our lamps on to see the trail, because of the bright clear moon light. It was a glorious clear starry night. Once back at camp we sat for a while and talked while looking at the stars until it got too cold. . . My flight response is quite strong and I don't like encountering automobiles when I'm nude because I can't communicate with the passengers, nor can I discern anything about the age and gender of the occupants. So, when we were surprised by a pickup stealthily rounding the bend in the road behind us, we both took off into the woods like frightened deer. It was, we quickly discovered, a quite stupid move as there were no trees or underbrush to hide our naked bodies - at least nothing nearby. We must of looked comical to the driver as we scrambled for cover, but judging from the hand she held to the side of her face, she didn't find much humor in the situation. Oh, well....there was a valuable lesson in the encounter for us hikers. Next time, we decided, we'd step to the side of the road, continue walking, and give a polite nod and brief wave as the auto passes - just as if walking along the road in the nude is the most natural thing in the world - because, really, it is.” - Beltcreek

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