Thursday, January 2, 2014

Off to a good start.

A good friend invited me to go hiking with her and her daughter on New Year's Day. We couldn't have asked for better weather - crisp but not too cold, and clear with a brilliant blue sky.
The hike went as hikes do with young children making all the usual stops - the rest stops, the snack stops, the sock-adjustment stops, the poop stops, the look-at-the-rock-I-found stops. I'd considered going on another group hike, which would have been at a much faster clip, but I was in a Zen state and content with the leisurely pace and preferred spending the day with people I love.
The route took us up the mountain to an overlook, across a ridge, and then back down the mountain in a loop. We set out early and as the day progressed, ran into more folks out enjoying the glorious weather.
At the top we sat on a flat rock for a snack. Shortly after we settled there, an older man and a young Chinese woman arrived. I'm guessing she was an exchange student and he was in the host family.  He was talking to her very loudly and telling her all the words in her language that he knew and that his Chinese name was "Yomika" (Yo MY Kah). He told her, "Now I'm not a dirty old man, I'm just being friendly and I thought you'd enjoy this area.  I don't want you to think I'm a dirty old man, we're just friends.  Understand?  Just. Friends." She looked uncomfortable, nodded and said, "Oh of course." Well. I've got news for you, Yomika. Anyone who goes to the trouble of insisting repeatedly that he is not a dirty old man is a dirty old man. Because obviously you were thinking about it. Normal men would feel no need to talk about it. Creeper.
Other than that, all was good on the mountain. Symbolically, I think walking a path and getting a new perspective is a good way to start a year.

39 comments:

  1. ha. awkward moment there with the guy eh? sheesh...
    fun stuff...we hiked on new years day as well...
    wore all the kids out...ha
    nice shot through that hole in the wood....

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    1. For the young woman anyway - Yomika seemed pretty oblivious.

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  2. Nice pics. I like the arch. I'm guessing East Coast. Foothills of North Carolina maybe?

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  3. It's so funny, but you and I (being Libras) are very similar in our approach to how we look at things. Many things you often say, I feel/see the same...

    "which would have been at a much faster clip, but I was in a Zen state and content with the leisurely pace and preferred spending the day with people I love."

    Yes, I would have had the same outlook.

    Great photos! And that last one is BEYOND stunning! WOW!

    " Symbolically, I think walking a path and getting a new perspective is a good way to start a year."

    Absolutely!

    Happy New Year, girl! Looking forward to blogging with you this year!
    X

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  4. That last shot is magnificent.

    A great attitude besets great experience. I have a feeling this will be so for you. Great way to start the year. I spent my day at a nice rink watching a 4 year old and a birthday boy of 7 learn to ice skate. Fall, get up, push, fall, get up. A clear primer on how to live :-)

    Love
    kj

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    1. Ha!
      Make that an ICE rink, although it was a nice rink too

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  5. Creeper, indeed. I wish you'd had enough Chinese to say to her, "Leave this dude. Come with us. We're more fun--and not Gross."

    Starting the year with a hike bodes well for the upcoming months (*she typed wishfully*).

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    1. I'm guessing she figured it was best to just be polite if she was having to stay in his home.

      Sorry - not trying to rub it in!

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  6. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful. I have been going to a trade show there for the past 27 years now and have taken the trails many times. The best is driving to Clingman Dome and walking to the top to the look out tower.
    Fantastic. Happy new Year.

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    1. I've hiked up to Clingmans' Dome. It's a beautiful view.

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  7. Beautiful area to spend New Year's Day hiking and exploring! I agree with you, that man was a dirty old man!

    betty

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  8. Creepy guy with young Asian woman. Every nightmare her family may have had in sending their daughter to the US-personified.
    What a beautiful way to start the year.

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    1. Okay, those two thoughts strung together made me laugh out loud.

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  9. You're right about the dirty old man bit. Creepy indeed! But I am glad it didn't spoil your trip. the small fry did well, many of them would start to complain after 5 minutes. Your photos show lovely scenes. Happy 2014 to you!.

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    1. She complained a little, but not much. I was impressed with her stamina.

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  10. Yes, I also prefer walking briskly, but if I'm in a more placid mood I'm quite happy to walk with others who want to stop and comment on everything they come across. Quite often they point out things that I might otherwise be too speedy to notice!

    I hope the Chinese woman got home safely....

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    1. I do pretty well with noticing things as I hike, partly because I'm carrying a camera.

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  11. I have a neighbor friend who will only walk if she brings her two dogs. Your description of this walk sounded similar.

    I'm wondering if a non-native English speaker would even understand what a dirty old man means. And how freaky that he was talking loud enough for you to hear and he wasn't embarrassed by that.

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    1. There were lots of people who their dogs on the hike. When I visit my mother, we often take the dogs when we walk and then I go out again on my own so I can get in a real walk.

      And probably not. She looked confused. I wondered if it was loud for our benefit, but then he continued to talk very loudly.

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  12. I would have thrown nuts at that creepy old guy.

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  13. Sounds like a wonderfully healthy and balanced way to start a new year.

    How about this interpretation of the old man’s speech: “ I am not going to rape you but at the slightest sign of encouragement I’m willing to oblige. So how’s about it?"

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    1. Or, "I am in fact a dirty old man and am entertaining illicit ideas about you, but I understand there would be hell to pay if I acted on them."

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  14. Oh gosh as I saw your pics and read your words I wanted to be there. Hiking, enjoying, throwing the Chinese girl a roll-eye of understanding.
    Creepy guy indeed. He doth protest too much.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. Yes he did, but it was still a fabulous day.

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  15. The log with the hole at the bottom, was it petrified? Looks rather like petrified wood I've seen before.

    I've seen signs recently at rest stops for people from foreign countries who feel their stay here is involuntary, wonder if this relates....the girl you mentioned.

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    1. Just very weathered, I think.

      I really don't think she looked scared - more baffled.

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  16. Peculiar that the dirty old man felt the need to take his prey to the top of a mountain to have this conversation with her, and with others nearby. Keep an eye on the news in case she disappears, I say.

    But on a happier note, lovely photographs of your day. Hiking always helps me get things in perspective. Engage my right brain, if you will. ;)

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    1. I really got the impression that he was self-absorbed and creepy, but not dangerous.

      Thank you - it always helps me, too.

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  17. We have recently been having a spate of exposures and prosecution of some well known senior citizens for harassment of women subordinates and the atmosphere here is suddenly charged with a lot of otherwise cheerful old men clamming up. A lady friend of mine from about six hundred kms away rang me up on the 1st to wish me a happy new year and asked me why I had not rung her up as I almost always do. Though it was not the reason, I said that I did not want to be sued for improper behaviour and she laughed and said that as a woman she was very happy that such exposures were taking place and elaborated that this is a phenomenon that has been known among women but not talked about till these new exposures took place. This has got me wondering about the dirty old men phenomenon and I am working on a post.

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    1. Although it may make innocent men uncomfortable, women have been putting up with sexual harassment forever and I'm glad if people are talking about it.

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  18. Sounds like a lovely walk and yes kids definitely slow things down but they can also be inspiring because they are so free. Okay that man was creepy and I hope the girl is okay.

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    1. I think there are times for fast walks and times for slow walks, so either way is okay with me.

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  19. Beautiful pictures! I would love to be able to hike in the mountains! Houston is sorely lacking in the mountain department!

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    1. I really need to have either rmountains or ocean close by.

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  20. looks like it was a gorgeous day and trail. that creepy dude though, ick...exchanges like that make me feel the need for a shower.

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