Setting a bad example for the boy scouts

by Katie on April 20, 2009

I got to spend the weekend hanging out with this girl: 

And we had a great time. She helped me with a few little jobs on the farm, which I greatly appreciated, went hiking in the White Tank Mountains, enjoyed a good breakfast together every day, and got a little pool and sun action in the last few hours of her trip. 
The most interesting part of our mid-morning mini-hike turned out to be the fact we didn’t carry our water bottles down the trail. There were quite a few hikers out, all loaded with three days worth of fluids, power bars, walking sticks, and probably their Swiss Army knives. We just sauntered along the trail, talking up a storm, empty-handed. 
The first group of ladies we passed asked, “Where’s your water, girls?”
Another set of hikers inquired, “No water?”
At least two others offered us a drink from one of their five canteens. We were seriously on a five-hour mountain trail, but planned to only walk a short while, then turn around and head back. These people all looked like they would be climbing in the rocks for five days. 
We both considered carrying our small water bottles along with us, but opted not to, realizing we were young, in fairly good shape, would return soon, and had been on far more treacherous hikes loaded down with gear and a limited water supply. We survived then, in the true wilderness, so we were not concerned about this short walk in a national park. 
When we came upon a group of five adults, the woman in the lead asked us, “Do you need some water, girls?”
We politely thanked her, declined, and explained we were just on a short walk, had properly hydrated ourselves before beginning, and had water waiting for us in the car. 
Apparently, the man in the rear of their group missed this explanation. When we passed him, I heard him whisper to the woman in front of him, “Those girls don’t have any water.” 
The last group we passed was a pack of 10 to 12-year-old little boys, whom we presumed to be a group of Boy Scouts, and their two leaders. We assumed they had camped overnight (or we’re hoping so, unless firetruck pajama pants are the cool thing to wear on a hike these days), as they were loaded down with gear. 
After we passed them, I said, “Those boys are all getting told, ‘that is a perfect example of what not to do while hiking in the mountains in Arizona.'”
Amanda replied, “Probably so. But we should tell them there are so many good Samaritans on this trail you don’t need to pack your own water.”
She had a good point. 
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