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Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...

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Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 11, 2017 09:25PM
I still have to figure out how to post pictures so I can share a TR from a great summer adventure on the Benson Loop. Would not have happened, and would not have been such a spectacular success (notwithstanding the torrential rain (in the middle of a drought) and sleet storm) without the generosity of those sharing on this forum. I hope to pay it back/forward for others. Until then, I thought I'd share an amusing side-story...

Hiking partner & I are in the first day of a hike we'd been wanting to do for several years, in the northeast corner of Yosemite NP. I thought I remembered a post about someone(s) from this forum potentially being in the same general area. We had just finished lunch (and taking shelter from a brief cloudburst). We walked up from our lunchtime lounging area to rejoin the trail, and two people are coming down the trail. Each one virtually covered head-to-toe with hats, clothing, packs, etc. Smart to stay out of the sun. But wait! - also rain flies on their packs... and they are electric-brilliant-fluorescent-blinding orange: the type of color you can see from space. Wait, think I read about that here too. With more than a little teasing. And those hats! And radios? Could it be? The other member of the party seems to just want to keep on walking, although to where I don't know. Maybe it doesn't even mater - only walking matters... No, that's an almost impossible coincidence. But I can't pass up the chance. But how do I initiate a conversation without ending up in jail? or some form of custody "for my own protection"?

So in the 10 seconds after rejoining the trail, noticing the two hikers coming down the trail, and then freezing right in the middle of the trail, blocking any progress, several ideas crossed my mind in rapid sequence:

1) Do you have a pink bird with you?
2) Are you a chicken?
3) Did you bring a boat with you?
4) Have you walked every trail mile in this park?
5) Do you know a guy with a stuffed gray parrot?

No, these were all too risky. But I had to say *something*. In desperation, all I could blurt out was... (wait for it):

"Do you like Twinkies?"

I paused for the flash of pain after being hit in the face. I may have flinched or squinted. But no; no pain, no fist to the mouth. No barrage of insults, questioning my sanity, manhood, my right to occupy space on the planet. I looked up. From under the giant hat, from behind the impenetrably-dark glacier glasses, a big Cheshire-cat grin grew until I saw a shark's mouthful of teeth: "I loooove Twinkies!".

So, that's my story. And that's my advice on how one accosts a chick-on in the backcountry. Without losing any teeth.

:-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2017 09:26PM by ags.
Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 11, 2017 10:17PM
Ha! I have a similar story with a different ending that I shared here once. I was hiking up Airplane Gully after an aborted Tenaya Canyon trek. We came across a solo guy and I clumsily came up with "Are you Chick-On?" The answer was no, and then I realized he was with a bigger group. If I remember the ending of the story correctly, the one and only passed that group the next day...

And I'm only getting older...with a few obstacles of distance, time, money, etc., but I am determined to finish that dang Tenaya Canyon one day...and perhaps with the pink guy.
Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 12, 2017 08:01AM
All I can say is... if you lead with "Chick-on?!"... make sure you have the correct bird :-)

Funny thing... I remember someone making fun of me for hours in Upper Basin while my day-glo satellite-viz pack cover was deployed... (on a more somber note, I think a hiker went missing in Upper Basin a week or so later...)

The Twinkie line is great, but in case imposters start to learn it, you might also try:

"Is this the trail to Butter Mountain?"
"Is <nearby lake> boatable?"
"I found a metal post with 45 (or 58 or...) stamped on it. Do you know what that is?"
"Excuse me, do you have any Grey Poupon... or any mustard... or guac...?"
"Do you have a spare spoochula?"
Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 12, 2017 09:45AM
Quote
basilbop
Funny thing... I remember someone making fun of me for hours in Upper Basin while my day-glo satellite-viz pack cover was deployed...

Funny thing II: I even heard from a member of the party how the teasing was relentless. And I noted that both members of the party were themselves sporting said sat-viz kit.
Funny thing III: both SO and I are now proud owners of sat-vis kit ourselves. May even bring to Dewey Point - just to see how many miles away we can still see it. Can you see DP from the Pizza Deck? :-)
avatar Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 12, 2017 01:42PM
Only for hours?

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,77169,77169#msg-77169

Want moor?



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2017 01:43PM by chick-on.
avatar Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 12, 2017 01:56PM
Reading some of these stories, I get the impression all a body has to do is wander off a short ways anywhere into the Yosemite backcountry, doesn't matter were or when, and Chick-on will magically appear coming down the trail (like a Genie, or a Leprechaun). I keep hoping I'll bump into him one day at the Hostess snack rack in the Village store, but hasn't happened yet.
avatar Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 12, 2017 09:21AM
You might try "Is anything two tenths of a mile from here?"
If the answer is "Everything is two tenths from here!" Then you have your bird.
Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 12, 2017 01:21PM
My first attempt today at retelling our first meeting (which I may have already posted somewhere in this site) was quite long. I'll post a shorter version. If you want more details, I can try to edit and clean it up...

First weekend Tioga Road was open (some years ago).. Basilbop and I went to do Waterwheel Falls as a day hike. (which we enjoyed doing past years when the road opened).

We expected wading through water crossings. And flooded trail. Chose to skip Pothole route because of potential snow slow-downs. I wanted to wade Delaney and Dingley. So we went that way. And waded both of those, over snow over the Twin Bridges, down into Glen Aulin proper... Where, before usually-flooded Mattie Lake outlet section of trail, we ran into a couple backpacking out. They looked at us like we were weird, we looked back at them same way... because they were wearing odd hats (cowboy like hat on lady, baseball cap on guy) and garbage bags on their legs, as gaiters... I was thinking "oh boy, newbies"... Basilbop and I probably looked very similar to each other and to what we look like nowadays. Very sun-protected. Long damp pants, short gaiters. Damp trail runners. We had light gear for day hike.

Suffice to say, the guy and I did the bulk of the chatting. He had a bit of a superior attitude, but seemed to grudgingly accept that we might know what we were doing, since we made it clear we had done this 18 mile day hike several times in the past under similar conditions. I gradually gave them credit for maybe knowing what they were doing since they had gone in via the Pothole Dome route over some (as expected) tricky snow. And for readily admitting that the garbage gaiters did not work! The gear they had was worn, most of it recognizable and decent. And give they had gone to Register, found it too much to cross and had spend the night in the canyon and were heading out... I figured they had some experience too. Anyway, we parted ways thinking each other group was a bit batty. And both groups were kinda miffed to see anyone on the trail at all! smiling smiley

And yah, that was Chick-on and me talking, while his wife and my hubby were mostly quiet. Still is like that, Chick-on and I will babble all day long and drive everyone else nuts!

Also, Basilbop and I ran into Chick-on on what I think were the next three consecutive weekends either at a trailhead in Tuolumne or at the BOF entrance station getting permits!

It was only later that all the pieces fell into place.... Basilbop and Chick-on had been communicating directly via the site... They both had gone into Cherry Creek on a snowy stormy Memorial Day weekend solo - and were both surprised to see another tent in the area - they never saw each other.. but once one of them posted about that trip, they figured it out... and set up a 9-day trip together where they learned they actually liked hiking together.. and that the orange pack cover is a really good asset in fowl conditions!

For the first official trip together, Basilbop asked me to be tolerant and be nice to Chick-on. I don't tolerate fools well... Turns out once we got past some language barriers.. we realized we cared about the same stuff and we have become good friends... and his foolishness I could take... and the rest is history that has been relatively well-documented here. Basilbop, Chick-on, Bearproof, mrcondron, AndrewF and I have -- I believe -- bonded well, and have shared numerous adventures together in various groupings. And we have met others, like AGS, nwhkr, lschaff,oakroscoe, sergiyp... so fun!

Can't thank Eeek and the forum enough for introducing me to such wonderful people! Have had an absolute blast with them all!

Oh dang, this version got long too.. Gonna post though, or I'll never get it done!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2017 01:32PM by JustKeepWalking.
avatar Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 12, 2017 02:07PM
Still think I can (tm) Garbage Bag Gaiters.

It's a garbage bag
It's a gaiter
It's a ground clothe
It's a slip n slide
It's a water encatchment
It's a pack
It's a pack cover
It dices
It slices
It minces
It never needs sharpening
It does moor

Yeah, Yosemite has been a passion for a long time...
Thanks for making it even butter



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 12, 2017 01:58PM
Al,
The "Advanced Party" ... really enjoyed meeting you and your wife and chatting.
It's definitely a highlight of all our August trips (and there were a LOT of highlights) ..
far too many to name...

The answer is ...

try flikr

It seems to work really well for sharing pictures...

Here's JKW ... on August trip where we met you just above Barney...





Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 14, 2017 04:44AM
Quote
ags
We walked up from our lunchtime lounging area to rejoin the trail, and two people are coming down the trail.

Wait, they were on an actual trail? In that case I never would have suspected The Pink One.

The question I would have asked to confirm ID is, "What do you think of Loch Tablae?"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2017 04:45AM by JRinGeorgia.
Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 14, 2017 07:14AM
I think we were blocking the xc-route...
Re: Accosting a chick-on in the backcountry...
January 14, 2017 08:22AM
Good stories. I generally at least greet the people we meet on the trail. Sometimes they recognize us from our blog. Last summer near Wire Lakes in the Emigrant Wilderness, I met an Asian gentleman who was solo hiking, His English was a bit awkward, so the chat was pretty short. But as I walked away, he called after me: "You must be P!" I turned around at chuckled that I was, indeed, P.

Then he told me that we were the reason he was taking his hike, and bowed to me.

I bowed back, and we went on our separate trails.

Still makes me smile. Nice guy.



Balzaccom

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