01 July 2009

"Can't we all just get along?"

Originally uploaded by clayhaus
...or: Runners, Bikers, Hikers and Dogs don't have to always be on a collision course.

Today was the first day that the local canyon of Millcreek was open all the way to the end of the road. It also being an odd-numbered day, dogs ARE allowed off-leash on the upper canyon trails. The weather was beautiful, my daughter was in town with her little dog, and I thought that it was a perfect day to introduce our 9 month old Golden Retriever puppy to the joys of a hike followed by a swim in the aptly named Dog Lake.

But for some people the words perfect and pleasant apparently can't be used in the same day. A couple of "on-a-mission" runners run past us, ignore our "hello" and instead throw a "I thought this was a leash area!" snappishly over their shoulders. My daughter responds: "On odd-days, dogs can be off-leash." They respond: "Well, you need to control them...they made me slow down!" As Steve Martin used to say: "Well, Excusssssssse me!" I mean, cry me a river...they had to slow down. Their times might have been off, a few seconds or maybe even more! Gads! The planet almost tumbled off of its axis, or so it might seem. What if it had been three 2-year children milling about excitedly on the trail rather than three childish dogs? Would they have been as boorish? Could they have at least recognized that the hikers and dogs on the same path are also having a good time? Could they have acknowledged that their (off-lease) facts were actually 180 degrees incorrect, instead mounting a spin?

A short time after this little incident, 5 bikers cross our path. Now the other thing about odd-numbered days up this canyon is that on those days NO mountain bikes are permitted. So what were these folks thinking? After saying hello I asked the lead biker if he knew it was an odd-numbered day. He was apologetic and mumbled something about forgetting (the usual excuse I have heard on this trail). I acknowledged his response, said hello to the rest of his party as they passed, and nobody to my knowledge had any reason to feel angry or put-out.

Moral (that I tell myself many times!): It's not what happens to you, its how you response to what happens to you.

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