Have you ever found yourself alone and just a little spooked in the woods? Has your perfect dayhike ever turned into a nightmare? Have you, the consumate pragmatist, ever started questioning the existance of ghosts, ghouls, or goblins on what you thought was a normal trail?
It happened to me today on what I'll call my Spooky Hike on the Peaks. Here's how the story goes:
The hike began as many do: beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, feeling good and making good time up the trail. But then, out of nowhere, suddenly and silently, a camoflaged hunter appeared hurrying down the trail. He stopped my and warned me, with a German accent, that he had seen something big that he couldn't identify just off the trail above. Even with his rifle, he said he'd had enough and then off he went, almost running down the mountain. Needless to say, my senses tuned up to high at that point, but I tried to ignore the little tickle of fear that entered my awareness. I continued up the trail for about 20 yards when I heard a loud "SNAP" of breaking branches nearby. Okay, I said to myself, it's time to go!
As I hurried down the trail, the shadows were long and the woods were growing ever darker. I began to feel that I was being watched--you know that feeling that someone is looking at you? As I found myself choking back a little sob and a tear, I remembered what Janelle said: It's ok to cry--it helps get the feel-good endorphins flowing. But even the shadows seemed menacing and I think, although I won't admit to it, I think I saw a sasquatch--or at least its shadow!
All I know is that something or someone doesn't like hikers in this area, especially this time of year. So if you go hiking on Halloween, take extra care and watch out for the lions and tigers and bears, oh my.