A hiker’s positive parking experience

Sometimes I feel that I only hear the negative stories.

I read the paper and watch the news and wonder how do people ever get along? Bickering or ridiculous behavior is blasted from the headlines. I understand that these events and experiences are happening, but I thought perhaps it would be nice to hear about two young women that helped me during a recent trailhead parking session. I’m not going to name them because I didn’t speak to them with the intent of writing a story. The more I reflected on the experience and the more negative stories I read, I just wanted to thank them for showing everyone kindness.

I didn’t even go hiking but was helping my husband get parking for his backcountry clients. We left early from our house and waited by the trailhead at Roaring Brook Falls. There, I spoke at length with one of the new front-country stewards. I asked questions about what she did all day and the experiences that she had. She sat by the trail register and welcomed person after person coming through the popular trail. I walked back and forth from the base of Roaring Brook, and each time I thought about more questions to ask her. She informed me that most people are nice and accepting of learning new information. She also said there can always be difficult people, but for the most part, people were accepting new policies and were genuinely interested in learning. The front-country steward is a new position to help educate/inform people on “Leave No Trace” principles.

The other person I met was working at the Ausable Club’s hikers parking lot, just across the highway from the popular Roaring Brook trailhead. She was delightful. Again, I won’t mention her name, but I won’t forget her. She was kind to everyone. She works at a local nursing home, so I think her patience is attributed to her other challenging job. Her experiences were similar to the front-country steward’s job. One weekend she had to turn away 70 cars because the lot was full. The majority of the people understood and went elsewhere. There was no confrontation and no argument.

I am not saying that some people aren’t difficult. I just thought it may be worth mentioning that not everybody is always challenging. These circumstances could have been attributed to the attitude of the two people that I met or the numerous people who chose to hike that day. Perhaps it was an anomaly. I don’t know. I do find that I can approach a situation expecting an argument and I will most likely get one. I can also approach a situation positively and usually everything works out fine.

I hope that all your hiking and parking is greeted with the same level of care.

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities.” For more family-friendly activities go to www.AdirondackFamilyTime.com.

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