It seems like I hike more times alone than I do with others. I don't know why this is, but when I'm solo in nature, hiking is more of an experience.... spiritual, emotional, mental... and when I'm with others, I miss out on the beauty of the earth or something. When I am alone in the woods I am lost in everything natural.
So, into the woods, I walked one mid-morning, killing time before I started the day at my temporary job. I wanted to breathe some fresh air, let go of some stress, and do some yoga. Instead of going to the left towards the blue path, like I always do, I went to the right, the unmarked path that once lead me to a pavilion. I wasn't too concerned about this detour but as I walked into this small little corner of the woods, I saw an older gentleman caressing a tree. I immediately thought of the scene from Superstar! but hoped he was some sort of naturalist or scientist, examining the tree with a purpose of knowledge.
I walked a little faster, and finally found a spot to do my yoga, only I could feel this guys eyes on me, and I was starting to feel panicked while hiking... the first time since my very first solo hike. I don't panic in the woods, this is my safe haven....but my heart was racing and I didn't like knowing this guy was in the woods with me.
I attempted to set up my phone to take a picture but either I was nervous or it just wasn't happening because the creeper guy in the woods noticed my struggle.
"Are you trying to take a picture or something?" He asked as he slowly approached me in traditional creeper fashion.
"Oh yeah, I do this all the time.... Just doing some yoga." I nervously replied.
"You know, I could take a picture for you. It can't be that hard."
Famous last words.
I didn't feel comfortable with him taking my picture so I switched up on the yoga pose I was going to do and told him I would do the tree pose. I handed him my brand new not even 24 hours old iphone 5 and told him to snap a picture once my hands were in the air.
I don't know what he did because as I got into my pose, the look on his face said everything. Instead of hitting the capture photo button, he hit the image of the camera which means reverse... and so, I ended up with several pictures of this on my phone....
Because not only did he take photos of himself, the camera was going crazy snapping pictures several at a time. I had no idea what he hit but they were going off and soon he handed me back my phone.... I couldn't get the phone to stop taking pictures!
Needless to say, I felt a little bit better knowing I could identify the creeper if I needed to since he gave me several selfies of him. Finally, I showed him how to use my camera and he took a lovely picture of me doing tree pose, and then we went our separate ways, and occasionally, I would look back and see him looking my way. My walk was nearly a jog until I made it back on the blue path...and you know what, I haven't been hiking solo since.... maybe I'll learn to love and admire nature in the company of friends!