Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall in a tourist town

I charge up the trail, feeling optimistic.  It is a cloudy, cool Monday, and there aren't a lot of vehicles at the trailhead.  During the summer I avoid this trail.  It's short and starts at a campground; on a weekend day there are hundreds of people here.

Those of us who live here often recreationally complain about tourists: the traffic! clogged trails! the "resort tax"!  It seems ridiculous that you usually can't find a parking spot at Logan Pass in the park after 10 am in the summer, despite acres of asphalt.  At the same time, we know there are perks we enjoy because of them, like an airport with lots of flights, good restaurants, and a great ski area.  Still, the time in between the summer and winter tourist crowds is a welcome break.

I only encounter a few people on the trail, and can move fast.  I arrive at the lake, amazed as always by how different it looks in different seasons.

On the way down, that's when I start seeing them: the tourists! At least thirty of them tromp up the trail.  One guy wears a Russian style fur hat; one girl has elected to hike in Uggs.  Some anxiously inquire how much farther it is to the lake.  I wonder why they are here, in the gloomy, rainy autumn we are having.  I'd like to think they are the adventurous ones, traveling in the off-season, not following the herd.

The winter skiers will be here soon, and the hikers will leave.  Those of us who live in the valley appreciate the lull, but we know why they come here.  All we need to do is look around us.

13 comments:

  1. Yup, it's like that in the Columbia River Gorge, especially in the summer months. Wall to wall people on the trails, many of them not remotely prepared for hiking. I hiked there yesterday, but went early and was done with my hike by noon and managed to avoid most of the masses.

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    1. Yes around here we have to go early also or seek out more remote trails.

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  2. Yes, like that here, too. Tourism has increased dramatically over the past few years and we grumble over their "taking over" our favorite spots. Luckily, like you, there are places known only to locals....so far. Bear ranger lake!

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  3. In my family we call those people 'turkeys'. As in, 'there were some serious turkeys on the trails today!'

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    1. That's funny! I know they're just trying to have a good time, but hiking four miles in Uggs? I don't get it.

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  4. I've lived in tourist towns and sometimes they drove me nuts!!! :-)

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    1. There's more and more traffic all the time, I think that's the worst part.

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  5. Can you blame them? It's beautiful where you are:-)
    Maybe I'll be one of those tourists one day!!!!

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  6. It really is beautiful there. Hiking in Uggs, though? Do they not prepare for these trips?

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    1. And check out the Grand Canyon hikers in flip-flops and no water...yikes.

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    2. I don't get the Uggs. Especially on a muddy, rocky trail.

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