A hike to the geothermal area in Lassen Volcanic National Park known as “Bumpass Hell” in 2015 revealed a smorgasbord of hiking styles: prepared, not prepared, polite, rude, curious, oblivious, observant, selfish, selfless, etc. So let’s count down the winners (and losers)!
3. THE BOY WHO CRIED “OUCH!” = In a general sense, third place goes to the many, many hikers witnessed wearing extremely inappropriate shoes (e.g. flip flops). However, let’s get a bit more specific.
The young man who quickly, wisely turned back upon discovering he’d embarked unprepared is excused.
Not excused? The boy who stumbled slightly and wailed, “I REALLY hurt myself!” within yards of the parking lot and kept walking. Turn back when you are hurt, child. Wear protective shoes. Don’t exaggerate your injuries.
Also not excused? All the other members in his hiking party who ignored him. Save the tough love for private events like Family Movie Night, people, not for public, (potentially) life or death situations.
1. (tie) HOW CHIVALRY DIED = Take a look at that warning sign. Ambiguous? No. And yet, what do we see right over there, just past the sign?
Why, it’s a loving boyfriend, climbing down the side of the boardwalk to fetch his girlfriend’s hat, blown by the wind onto the fragile crust covering boiling hot springs!
If he falls through and scalds layers of skin or flesh from his bones, no worries, help is only about two hours away.
Are there any joggers in the crowd?
1. (tie) THE HATLESS WIDOW = Sure, her boyfriend (husband?) ventured off the boardwalk on her behalf to remedy an accident. Not her fault!
Why does she rank? Because she let him. For a $10 hat.
Repeat after me: “Please don’t risk your life. I can replace a hat. I can’t replace you.”